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Q3 2014


IN THE DRIVING SEAT Uber’s Jo Bertram on entering the Irish market

eircom Business Solutions’


WALSH on building communications capability for companies across Ireland

MAN ofthe WORLD PCH International’s


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Cover InBusiness Q3 2014_Walsh.indd 1



LIAM CASEY on going global

21/10/2014 13:12





For more information on the Renault EV range, visit your local dealer today.

*Offer related to 2012 registered vehicles. 5 year unlimited mileage warranty from date of registration.

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17/10/2014 09:32:17 01/09/2014 15:59

Editor: Joseph O’Connor Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editorial Assistant: Amy Woods


Commercial Editor: Conor Forrest

SME Solutions Made Simple

Editorial Contributors: Conor Forrest Valerie Jordan Olive Keogh Aoife Loy Rachel Murray Dean Van Nguyen

3 Business News

eircom’s David Walsh on connecting businesses across Ireland Words: Joseph O’Connor Broadband



Data Centre

��� �ade �imple


Lab 353

Voice & Data

Front Cover Photography: Colm McDermott 18

Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Diarmaid Lennon

Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: +353 1 432 2200 Email: Web: On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: Web: All articles © Ashville Media Group 2014. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. Opinion and comments expressed herein are not necessarily those of Ashville Media or Chambers Ireland. ISSN 20093934



Uber has parked itself in the Irish market Words: Valerie Jordan

Irish start-up FanFootage is doing it for the fans

Man of the World

34 Samba Success

Irish poultry firm Moy Park was a real World Cup winner Words: Dean Van Nguyen

PCH’s Liam Casey has become something of an Irish visionary

118 The Last Word

Mark Little has come a long way since his RTÉ days Words: Joseph O’Connor


Take Two

The economic and cultural importance of the Irish film industry Words: Valerie Jordan

Check out our O 06 new Local Government InBUSINESS Supplement which looks at the important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise LOOKING OUT FOR LOCAL BUSINESS

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the 30 InDriving Seat

32Start-Up Feature


InBUSINESS | Q2 2014


Ten keynote speakers not to miss at this year’s Web Summit

Colm McDermott

met with David Walsh at eircom’s headquarters just days after he had returned from the Camino de Santiago walk in Spain. Looking revived and refreshed from his trek, we settled in to our interview but not before conversing about his trip, the pleasures of hiking with his father and two brothers and how they enjoyed both the time out and the challenge posed by the famous pilgrimage route. What became clear to me during our conversation is that Walsh is always tuned in to people’s communications requirements. Even while travelling in remote parts of Northern Spain, he was all too aware of the need to be connected. And why wouldn’t he? After all, that’s the bread and butter of what Walsh and eircom does; they ensure that people are connected at any time and any place. The stats back it up. eircom currently has the largest fibre broadband network in Ireland and the company recently announced that it had passed its one millionth premises with its high speed fibre broadband offering. Additionally, eircom has accelerated its rollout programme so that its 1.4 million footprint target will be achieved by December 2015, much earlier than envisaged. The company has also expanded its rollout programme from 1.4 million premises to 1.6 million by December 2016.

120 The IB Index

28 Summit Speakers

Digital Boost


Art Director: Alan McArthur

12 Start-Up Central 37 Chambers Catch Up



Payments on the Go

8 Movers & Shakers 11 Opportunity Ireland

In Association with

[LIFESTYLE] 106 MOTORING: New offerings from Honda and Audi 110 GADGETS: The much anticipated iPhone 6 112 TRAVEL: Valerie Jordan takes an expedition to Edinburgh 115 BOOKS: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Start-Up Success 116 FASHION: Seamless transitions from business to pleasure


20/10/2014 11:19:34

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20/10/2014 17:19:27

Business news


Stripe Goes



atrick and John Collison’s online payments company Stripe has invested US$3m in the launch of a new bitcoin-like currency called Stellar, as well as a new payments network. The system will allow people to send one kind of currency and convert it to another currency, whether it is US dollars, British sterling, euros or bitcoin. The Stellar Development Foundation is a non-profit organisation headed by Stripe’s CEO Patrick Collison. Its co-founder is Ripple and Mt. Gox creator Jed McCaleb. Rather than competing with bitcoin, the Stellar network will facilitate transactions via the cryptocurrency.

The Collison Brothers

inBusiness | Q3 2014

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20/10/2014 12:14:43

Business news

shannon Crowned Airport of the Year

SHANNON AIRPORT HAS LANDED ITS greatest industry accolade by winning the overall Airport Achievement Award for 2014/2015 from the European Airline Association (ERA). The award was announced at a ceremony in Barcelona on October 1st and follows another win for the airport at the World Routes Awards in Chicago. This is the first time an Irish airport has been presented with the overall ERA award, which was established as the ‘ERA Airport of the Year Award’ in 2002. Shannon Group plc CEO Neil Pakey said that the award validated the efforts of all at Shannon, as well as the region, in turning the airport’s fortunes around since independence was achieved.

Neil Pakey, Shannon Airport CEO




003 InBusiness Q3 2014_News.indd 4

David Walsh, Director of Commercial and SME, eircom.

law Courses iN demaNd

Pictured at a Law Society Diploma Centre Conferral Ceremony: James Kinch, Dublin City Council and Vice-Chairman, ADR Committee; Simon Murphy, Chairman, Education Committee; John P Shaw, President, Law Society of Ireland; Freda Grealy, Head of Diploma Centre; Hugh J Ward, Hugh J Ward & Co.

RECENT YEARS HAVE SEEN a demand among legal professionals for alternatives to litigation as a way of resolving disputes. Recognising this demand, the Law Society of Ireland has created three courses, beginning in October, which will provide the specific skills required to deliver these services. The courses are: Diploma in Mediation Law; Diploma in Arbitration and Certificate in Advanced Negotiation. All lectures are webcast online and are available to be viewed live or in archive form. More information on the Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma Centre can be found at

Record Figures at Knock IRELAND’S WEST KNOCK AIRPORT recorded its busiest month on record with a total of 102,774 passengers passing through the terminal in August. This is the first time in the airport’s 28-year history that more than 100,0000 people have used it in a calendar month. The airport said it is now on track to have its busiest year yet, expecting passenger numbers to reach 700,000 for the first time. Commenting on the figures, Managing Director of the airport, Joe Gilmore said: “It’s a very proud milestone to reach 100,000 passengers in a month and milestones like this demonstrate that passengers are increasingly choosing the convenience of flying from their regional airport when the flights and holidays they want become available.”

KnoCK resuLTs For AuGusT 2014

Traffic to and from the UK Up


Traffic to and from Europe Up


inBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 12:15:00

Business News

Irish Firms Crowned in Europe


hirty-one businesses from Ireland have been named National Champions in The European Business Awards and will now go through to the second phase of this prestigious competition. In total, 550 companies, across 33 European countries, have been named as National Champions. A panel of independent judges, including senior academic and business leaders, selected the National Champions after the European Business Awards engaged with over 24,000 companies this year, a 40 per cent increase from last year and a recordbreaking number for the competition now in its eighth year. The next stage of the competition will take place in 2015.

Some of the 2014 National Champions for Ireland CurrencyFair Dawn Meats  HR D Communications H&K International



 ome Instead H Senior Care Learnosity McAfee TNS Distribution Trustwater For the full list go to www.businessawards

Game Changing Deal for Microsoft

Microsoft has confirmed it will buy Mojang, the creator of the popular videogame Minecraft, for a1.9 billion. The deal will see Mojang join Microsoft Studios which has created games like the Halo, Forza and Fable series.

Cabbies Enter Crowded Market

Taxi drivers hoping to break the dominance of Hailo are rolling out a rival app that promises lower fees and a better service. In a competitive market that already includes global giants Uber, local cabbies Martin Byrne and Stephen O’Connell are to launch the Dublin edition of Saytaxi. For more on Uber see page 32.

A Move Long Over Dew

Emerging Digital Trends

Must Be Addressed Alex White TD gave the opening address in his first public engagement with the tech sector since his appointment as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The overwhelming message emerging from the sixth annual Digital Ireland Forum, which took place in September at Dublin’s Convention Centre, was that policymakers, businesses and public service-providers must respond promptly to emerging digital trends. InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Alex White TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Ann O’Dea, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Republic; 16-yearold Co. Cork schoolgirl Ciara Judge, who is a member of the recentlyformed Digital Youth Council and a former winner of the BT Young Scientist competition and Renaud Visage, co-founder and CTO of Eventbrite, one of the most successful companies to emerge from Silicon Valley in recent years.

The second biggest Irish whiskey brand has returned to the town which gave the spirit its name after a 60-year absence. William Grant & Sons has opened its new Tullamore Dew distillery on a 58-acre site on the outskirts of Tullamore in Co Offaly, where 1.5 million cases of the spirit will be produced each year.

UTV Poach RTÉ Staff

UTV Ireland have poached a current editor of RTÉ’s Six One and Nine News to be the head of news at the soon to be launched broadcaster. After already recruiting former RTÉ presenter Pat Kenny, UTV Ireland have now added Marcus Lehnen to head up their current affairs programming.


20/10/2014 12:15:07

THe BuRninG QuesTiOn


If you were Taoiseach for a day, what one thing would you do?

on The AIrwAVes

lIAM CAsEY pCh International I would create a government initiative based around the vacant NAMA owned retail properties currently on the main streets throughout Ireland. This initiative would encourage first time entrepreneurs to set up new businesses while availing of a ‘rent free’ policy provided they created new employment within their locality.

DAvID WAlsh Director of Commercial and sME, eircom Taking an economic view and from an SME perspective, I would review rates and the cost of doing business for the SME sector. While business sentiment is improving and there is expected growth ahead, domestic demand is slow. Anything to improve confidence and competitiveness here would be good.


ewstalk 106-108 FM has announced the launch of a brand new show – ‘TED radio hour’. The new programme, based on riveting TED Talks from the world’s most remarkable minds, is being broadcast every sunday at 6pm on Newstalk. The station is the first to bring TED radio hour to Ireland. It will take listeners on a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create. since its official launch in March 2013, TED radio hour has become the fastest growing programme in public radio history. We featured an article on the history of TED Talks in the last issue of InBUsINEss which you can read here: inbusiness_q2_2014/32


We’ve all had that moment. The moment where you might see or hear something and you wonder: am I going crazy? In this hour, TED speakers share their experiences straddling that line between madness and sanity -- and question if we’re all in the grey area between the two. You can listen back to the podcast here: http:// player/shows/TED_ Radio_Hour

To Be d e G A r u o C n e sTudenTs

CAThAl FUrEY Founder and CEo, FanFootage I would rush through a proper Freedom of Information Act to replace the watered-down one we currently have. We need more transparency in Ireland if we want to improve how the country operates, so as much information as possible about State bodies and what they do should be made available to the public.


003 InBusiness Q3 2014_News.indd 6

Pictured at the launch were trainee solicitors Gillian Morrissey, Eoin Fleck, Jennifer Yau and Andrew Kennedy.

HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS BECOME BETTER CORPORATE CITIZENS? That is the challenge and question being put to university students as part of corporate law firm A&L Goodbody’s Bold Ideas Student Innovation Award competition. Now in its third year, Bold Ideas encourages university students of all disciplines to develop new ways for the business

community to have a more positive and meaningful impact on society. The theme of this year’s competition asks students to develop better ways for businesses to adopt corporate responsibility within their organisations. The closing date for entries to Bold Ideas is November 3rd. For further details see boldideasaward inBusiness inBusiness | Q3 Q2 2014

20/10/2014 12:15:37

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5/9/14 10:06:38 17/10/2014 09:35:58

Movers & Shakers

Movers Shakers Mary McNamee

Keith McCormack

Luke Mitchell

Ann-Marie Fleming

New title: Marketing Campaign Manager Employer: Sage Ireland Previous role: Marketing Executive, Irish Greyhound Board

New title: Chief Executive Officer Employer: 98FM Previous role: Director of ‘Visit Dublin’, Fáilte Ireland

New title: Chief Operating Officer Employer: SQS Previous role: EMEA Head of Risk Operational Change, PayPal

New title: General Manager Employer: Nova Broadband Previous role: Administration

Mary McNamee has been appointed Marketing Campaign Manager at Sage Ireland. Mary will assist in driving customer acquisition and reactivation across Sage’s SSB division. Before joining Sage Ireland, McNamee spent six years with Cook Medical where she was Marketing Coordinator for EMEA. Prior to that, she was Marketing Executive at the Irish Greyhound Board.

98FM has announced the appointment of Keith McCormack as its new Chief Executive Officer. With extensive business experience in team leadership, strategy development, sales, digital and marketing, McCormack joins from Fáilte Ireland where he held the role of Director of ‘Visit Dublin’ and Head of Events, leading a team of over 40 people.

Software quality specialist, SQS, has announced the appointment of Luke Mitchell as the company’s chief operating officer. Mitchell’s appointment comes on the back of SQS Ireland’s most successful period in business and in a year that has seen the company announce the creation of an additional 75 jobs. Mitchell will be responsible for a leadership role in building talent and capability within the organisation to support SQS’ ambitious five year growth strategy.

Ann-Marie Fleming has been appointed as the General Manager of Nova Broadband, a wireless ISP based in Cork. She joined Nova Broadband in 2010 in an administration position and worked on increasing the subscriber numbers to enable growth in the company. She was recently promoted to General Manager and now manages sales, marketing and new business development among other things.


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InBusiness | Q3 2014

21/10/2014 12:27:55

Movers & Shakers

New appointments in the business community nationwide

Michael Bohan

Enda Corneille

Laura Kilcoyne

Trevor Dolan

New title: Head of Visual Content Employer: Engage Ireland Previous role: Film Editor, Cork Film Centre

New title: Country Manager – Ireland Employer: Emirates Previous role: Global Instructor, IATA Training and Development Institute, Geneva

New title: Corporate Sales Executive Employer: Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel Previous role: Sales & Marketing Executive, Trinity City Hotel

New title: Partner Employer: LK Shields Previous role: Solicitor, Dillon Eustace Solicitors

Engage Ireland has announced the appointment of Michael Bohan as Head of Visual Content. The Cork native has over 14 years of experience in digital media. Following a qualification in Desktop Publishing, he began his career at Wild Acre Productions in Cork as a camera operator and editor of commercials before producing television programming and graphics for large scale projects in Holland.

Emirates Airline has appointed Enda Corneille as Country Manager – Ireland. Enda will manage the team of 26 located between the public reservations office in Hume Street, Dublin 2 and Dublin Airport. The well known aviation expert will take over the reins from Margaret Shannon who joined Emirates in October 2011, in advance of the airline’s launch in Ireland in January 2012.

Laura Kilcoyne has been appointed Corporate Sales Executive at Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel where she will be responsible for developing new and maintaining existing corporate relationships on behalf of the hotel. Laura joins Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel from the Trinity City Hotel, Dublin City Centre where she held the role of Sales & Marketing Co-ordinator for almost two years.

Corporate and commercial law firm LK Shields has appointed Trevor Dolan as partner in the Financial Services team. Prior to joining LK Shields, Dolan was a partner in the Investment Funds Department of one of Ireland’s other leading law firms. Dolan began his career in Chicago before returning to Ireland in 1998 to help establish Société Générale here.

Call Visit Email Follow

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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(01) 432 2200 @Ashvilleteam


20/10/2014 17:29:02

These days, in the complex world of commercial property, you need to be able to see all the options in order to make the right decision. It takes instinct, experience & insight to spot the right opportunities for your business’ property decisions. With insights on past & future performance across all sectors of Ireland’s ever changing commercial property market, our CBRE commentaries are the market’s bellwether reports. To make sure you get your CBRE MarketViews & Bi-Monthly research reports as soon as they are released, just drop us a line @ @CBRE_Ireland

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17/10/2014 09:36:32

JOB CREATION COMPANY: Park Hotel COMPANY: Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon SECTOR: Accountancy LOCATION: Nationwide

SECTOR: Hospitality

LOCATION: Cavan COMPANY: Mater Private Hospital

ANNOUNCEMENT: The 17th Lodge & Restaurant, owned by chef Richard Corrigan, has announced the creation of 70 jobs at its premises in the Park Hotel in Virginia, Cavan.

SECTOR: Healthcare LOCATION: Cork ANNOUNCEMENT: As part of a €70 million investment, the Mater Private Hospital in Cork has announced the creation of 150 jobs by 2016. The majority of the positions will be post-graduate, doctor and nursing positions.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon has announced that Bardon Molumby, a long established midlands accountancy practice will merge into the firm. The expansion will result in the creation of up to fifty jobs nationally in the next two years.

Opportunity IRELAND InBUSINESS highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities around the country.

COMPANY: Deloitte SECTOR: Accountancy

COMPANY: Sidetrade SECTOR: Technology

LOCATION: Nationwide


ANNOUNCEMENT: Deloitte Ireland has announced the creation of 100 new consultancy positions along with 200 graduate internships and co-operative work placements.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Leading software services provider Sidetrade, which is setting up a shared services centre in the capital, has announced the creation of 90 jobs. The opening of the new centre is supported by the IDA.



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COMPANY: Barry Group

SECTOR: Retail

LOCATION: Nationwide

ANNOUNCEMENT: The retailer and company behind Costcutter is to open 35 stores nationwide with the creation of 300 new jobs.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton announced that 26 jobs in Ireland and contracts worth almost 10 million for Irish companies were among the initial, immediate results of his trade and investment mission to Australia in September. In addition, three Irish companies announced new office openings – two in Sydney

and one in Auckland, New Zealand, helping to create and sustain jobs in Ireland. Furthermore, dozens of leads for potential multinational investments in Ireland, and for potential sales for Irish exporting companies, have been created during the five-day, three-city mission, which will be followed up in the

coming weeks and months. 32 Irish companies travelled on the mission and participated in over 160 one-to-one meetings with Australian companies targeting export and investment opportunities across the financial services, travel, telecommunications and IT for Healthcare sectors.


20/10/2014 13:12:12


Start-Up Central News, views and profiles on the latest start-ups in Ireland

How It All Started

Gavin Cooney Founder and CEO Learnosity

How did you fund your business initially? Consulting revenue from bespoke e-learning projects helped to support us in the earlier years while we got up and running. What’s the best advice you were given? You really need to listen to your customers. As an entrepreneur it can become too easy to fall into the trap of going in all guns blazing, full of innovative ideas telling customers that you have exactly what they need. What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? After doing both a business degree and a Masters in business I realised very quickly that I knew absolutely nothing about running my own business. It turned out there were lots of things to learn about funding and the traditional ways of growing a business. We discovered that going the VC route wasn’t necessary.

Entrepreneur Bobby Kerr at the launch of JumpStart 2014

Jump Start Your BusinesS The annual entrepreneurial competition ‘JumpStart 2014’ has been launched at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. Now in its fifth year, JumpStart gives Irish entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to win a very real jump start to their business with a prize worth €25,000 including €10,000 in cash. For further details on the competition visit

Your biggest make or break moment? The development of an embeddable ‘record button’ for one of our client’s e-books in 2011. This was a pivotal moment for us, we found our niche and this paved the way for our strategic shift into SaaS where we give our clients the ability to build education’s next big thing using our tools and services. Would you change anything in hindsight? We made a lot of mistakes, slept on lots of sofas and went to lots of conferences we didn’t really need to be at. If I had to change one thing, it would be the amount of time we spent on doing the rounds with VCs. Concentrate on the product, make it awesome and they’ll come knocking! Company: Learnosity Location: Dublin, Sydney, New York Product: Set of tools and services which enable clients to quickly and easily incorporate interactive question types into their existing applications, eBooks and websites. Staff:




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Sean O’Sullivan, CEO, LEO, South Cork; Minister Simon Coveney; Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu; Aidan Cotter, CEO, Bord Bia.

Food Start-Ups Hungry for Business Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Simon Coveney has announced that food business start-ups plan to create 300 new jobs within 12 months, after receiving listings with their local SuperValu stores. The small food businesses secured the listings following their participation in the Food Academy Start programme, a collaboration between Bord Bia, SuperValu and Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs).

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:18:41


Start-Ups An Attractive Option for IT StafF Some 45 per cent of IT workers in Ireland would consider moving jobs to a start-up or an established SME rather than work at a multinational, according to new research. The survey by Brightwater Recruitment reveals IT workers are less interested by perks in multinationals – including free food and healthcare – and are now opting for variety and challenge which are often associated with start-ups. A mere 15 per cent of IT professionals said they would choose to work for an established multinational. This compares with 35 per cent of professionals just one year ago.

“I think it’s a great time with lots going on but there are lots of gaps as well. My job is to drive new initiatives that will move the needle for Dublin.” Dublin’s first commissioner for startups Niamh Bushnell on her new role and the start-up landscape in the capital.

Recent statistics show an


increase in the number of new businesses set up in August 2014 compared to last year, indicating a growing confidence in the small business sector and consequently, an increasing demand for start-up support. Source:

Start-Up Profile: Onsite Dental

Kickstarter Comes to IrelanD Budding entrepreneurs with start-up ideas now have another crowdfunding option available to them after Kickstarter launched its service in Ireland. Kickstarter is the biggest crowdfunding medium in the world, targeted at creative projects - anything from product design to fashion to music. Until now, many Irish start-ups turned to the site’s international competitors as well as indigenous crowdfunding sites and PledgeSports. As of October, Irish entries will be able to sign up for funding with the website which will be open to donations from around the world.

Since September, Onsite Dental has been taking a 53-foot mammoth health clinic on wheels to some of the highest profile workplaces across Ireland. Its purpose is to give staff at some of these companies access to professional dental health screening services without the need to take time off work. Onsite Dental is the brainchild of Joshua Perry and the company has previously provided mobile health and dental services to staff at firms in the US and Denmark. Perry has now joined forces with Mark Ryan to bring the service to Ireland. Research shows that 60 per cent of the Irish population have not seen a dentist in 18 months. Interestingly, cost does not appear to be the deterrent, as only 15 per cent of

two million people who are eligible for free dental check-ups, make use of the service. Many working professionals are simply unable to make time to visit the dentist, so Onsite Dental makes it easier by taking the dentist to the workplace, offering check-ups, screening, preventative and restorative dental care. The onsite service is a win-winwin for organisations, employees and the dental community; staff members are provided with high quality dental care at a convenient location, companies no longer need to give staff time off to visit their dentist, and it gives the dental professional the chance to extend their patient base. For further details go to

InBusiness | Q3 2014


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20/10/2014 13:18:43



of the

W rld Once dubbed the only Westerner who truly understood business culture in China, PCH International’s Liam Casey has become something of an Irish visionary and all around innovator. InBUSINESS caught up with the Cork native who, despite his massive success, has kept his feet firmly on the ground.

CH International CEO and unlikely tech hero Liam Casey has taken Silicon Valley and China by storm, by doing for hardware what massive companies have done for software. It is said that Casey carries three phones at any one time – one set on US time, another on Chinese and a third on Irish time, a far cry from his days spent farming in his native county. Now focused on hardware startups in California, we spoke with Casey somewhere in between his jetsetting and 18-hour work days. 14

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IB: Could you explain what PCH’s core business consists of? LC: From start-ups to Fortune 500s, PCH designs custom manufacturing solutions for the world’s best brands. Whether design engineering and development, manufacturing and fulfilment, distribution or retail, PCH takes on the toughest challenges. If it can be imagined, it can be made. At PCH, we make. IB: When starting your company in 1996, had you any idea how global it would become? LC: Since PCH began in Cork in 1996, it has been a global company. In business today, geography is history and companies cannot think within borders. To be successful, you have to be global. IB: Could you tell me about PCH’s recent acquisitions - Shoplocket and TNS? LC: PCH has made a number of acquisitions over the last few years. We acquired TNS Distribution in 2011, Lime Lab in 2012, and then Shoplocket in January 2014. We have always looked for companies that share our entrepreneurial spirit and are a natural match for PCH so we can improve our overall

service offering to our clients. The partnerships have been a great success and have put us at the forefront of the hardware space. IB: What advice would you have for Irish companies looking to enter overseas markets? LC: Be ambitious and don’t let obstacles stand in your way. Look at risk as necessary to take large steps forward; if you fail, learn from these mistakes, and try again. The business community, as a whole, needs to be less riskaverse. It’s also important to focus on your core business – your brand and your product – and find partners who can help you scale the rest of the operation, as needed. Focus on building a great team and having the right culture. You also have to be good at marketing and selling your product. And, when it’s time to grow, you have to be quick to adapt and scale up. There is a big jump between making a few units and making and selling several thousand units. Scaling up needs serious thought and development if you want to avoid problems further down the line. You have to be open to change and quick to adapt to take on the challenges. InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:21:20


Be ambitious and don’t let obstacles stand in your way. Look at risk as necessary to take large steps forward; if you fail, learn from these mistakes, and try again.

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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20/10/2014 13:21:26


IB: How do you find doing business in China? LC: Doing business in China is just as challenging as it is anywhere else in the world. Once you get to know the customs and culture, and develop long-term relationships, it gets much easier. You need to learn how to read signs and pay close attention to detail. IB: Has the Irish Government and business community taken advantage of the enterprise opportunities presented in China? LC: The Irish Government and business community has done a tremendous job in building relations with China. I’ve worked closely with the Irish Government on a number of initiatives in China and with other Irish businesses, there is lots happening. Just last year we partnered with an Irish company called Verde LED on a programme to install energy efficient lighting in our Shenzhen facilities. IB: How important is building a community of Irish business people overseas? LC: It’s been very important for us, both in China and the United States. The partnership with Verde is an excellent example of what can be achieved and we’ve worked with countless other Irish connections around the world. I’m glad to be a member of the Government’s Global Irish Network Advisory Group, and to contribute to the work that’s being done in terms of the Irish diaspora. There’s a huge network of Irish people worldwide in the business community, members of which are keen to build links and support each other. IB: What do you think of the current landscape for start-ups in Ireland and the calibre of entrepreneurs here? LC: It’s an exciting time for startups in Ireland, particularly in the hardware space where we operate. There is phenomenal talent in Ireland because of the strong universities and 16

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It’s an exciting time for start-ups in Ireland, particularly in the hardware space where we operate. There is phenomenal talent in Ireland because of the strong universities and lure of the many great companies based there. lure of the many great companies based there. In fact, we are so excited about the talent in Ireland that we recently partnered with Dublin City University Innovation Campus to host Ireland’s first ever Hardware Hackathon. It’s great to bring together Irish entrepreneurs and the wider hardware community in Ireland to come up with some great ideas. IB: Are there any Irish start-ups that you admire? LC: We are currently working with an amazing Irish start-up called Drop ( that I greatly admire. The company formed in Dublin in 2012 and has created a new interactive recipe platform that works with an iPad-connected kitchen scales to become a digital baking assistant. IB: What would you say has been the secret to your success? LC: PCH’s ability to win new business quickly and demonstrate to our clients the need for our expertise has always been a key aspect in the growth of our business. Early on we established partnerships with some of the

world’s best brands and continually added new services, specifically tailored to meet their individual requirements, and quickly became an essential part of their operations. Our continuing investment in technology is a major accelerator allowing us to provide services and respond to clients’ needs. Setting up operations and being present on the ground in China was also a major factor in our early success and gave us a huge competitive advantage. IB: Any major plans in the pipeline for PCH in the coming 12 months? LC: Through our PCH Access division, which helps start-ups scale their business, and via Highway1, our incubator, we will continue to help dozens of new companies become established. We are also very proud of our partnership with RadioShack which has opened up a great, new retail channel to startups because of the start-up-friendly retail terms negotiated. In addition, you will see us continue to grow our e-commerce site – TheBlueprint. com – a tech lifestyle site where companies can sell unique product direct to consumers.

LIAM’S FAVOURITE IRISH FILM: The Guard (2011) An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an uptight FBI agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring. Directed by John Michael McDonagh. For more on the economic and cultural importance of the Irish film industry go to page 23.

InBusIness | Q3 2014

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Cover Story

SmE Made Simple SMEs play a pivotal role in Ireland’s economy and no one understands that more than Ireland’s largest telecommunications provider. Joseph O’Connor spoke to David Walsh, Director of Commercial and SME, about the lead role eircom Business Solutions is playing in connecting businesses across Ireland.

met with David Walsh at eircom’s headquarters just days after he had returned from the Camino de Santiago walk in Spain. Looking revived and refreshed from his trek, we settled in to our interview but not before conversing about his trip, the pleasures of hiking with his father and two brothers and how they enjoyed both the time out and the challenge posed by the famous pilgrimage route. What became clear to me during our conversation is that Walsh is always tuned in to people’s communications requirements. Even while travelling in remote parts of Northern Spain, he was all too aware of the need to be connected. And why wouldn’t he? After all, that’s the bread and butter of what Walsh and eircom do; they ensure that people are connected at any time and any place. The stats back it up. eircom currently has the largest fibre broadband network in Ireland and the company recently announced that it had passed its one millionth premises with its high speed fibre broadband offering. Additionally, eircom has accelerated its rollout programme so that its 1.4 million footprint target will be achieved by December 2015, much earlier than envisaged. The company has also expanded its rollout programme from 1.4 million premises to 1.6 million by December 2016. 18

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Data Centre




SIP Services

Payments on the Go

Digital Boost

Colm McDermott

Lab 353

Voice & Data


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Colm McDermott

CV: David Walsh Role: Director of Commercial & SME, eircom Business Solutions Lives: Dalkey, Dublin Family: Married to Siobhan with two sons, Jack and Matthew Currently Reading: The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort Favourite Film: The Shawshank Redemption Hobbies: Golf, fitness, walking and cooking


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A Bundle of Solutions Now 13 years with the company, Walsh has spent the last three in the role of Director of Commercial and SME. This portfolio comprises around 90,000 customers with the vast majority of them in the SME space so Walsh is acutely aware of the communications needs of these companies. He says eircom Business Solutions’ core proposition to SMEs is centred on bundles. “At a fundamental level, it’s about us creating bundled solutions to support customers in doing their business,” he explains. “eircom Business Solutions offers the most competitive fixed, mobile and broadband bundles in the market which include unlimited usage, even for international roaming in the UK, EU and USA – that’s a really compelling proposition for our customers. We have made this all available on a single bill, which customers really appreciate in terms of predictability and cost control.” Walsh believes cloud-based solutions will become a basic utility for businesses which will make the network even more important as a key enabler. “More and more, businesses are using cloud-based solutions to manage things like accounts and payroll. With cloudbased services, the important thing is having access – anywhere, anytime – so fixed and mobile convergence is a really important factor.” According to Walsh, herein lies the key advantage of being an SME customer with eircom Business Solutions. “We’ve undoubtedly got the network advantage; companies need the right networking capabilities and we’ve

got our own fixed and mobile “At a network which fundamental simply cannot be matched level, it’s by any of our about us competitors. creating We also have the expertise bundled advantage; we solutions to have a significant support team bringing customers their expertise to our customers. in doing We use that their expertise to help business.” SMEs conduct business more efficiently and more effectively. Finally, there is our portfolio advantage. We’ve the broadest portfolio of solutions to serve our business customers – like our new Payments on the Go (POGO) payments system, our converged SIP services and our Mobile Device Management solutions. We have plenty to offer SMEs.” Supporting the Backbone The role of the SME sector in the overall economy is critical if we are to see a return to sustainable growth. SMEs are responsible for some 69.9 per cent of Irish jobs according to a recent Europe-wide study by Mazars. However, the same study found that the pace of recovery among Europe’s 20 million small businesses has separated into three speeds, and Ireland is firmly in the slowest category. Judging on these statistics, much more support for SMEs is required and this is something Walsh is conscious of. “SMEs are critical to the overall success of our economy,” he says. “Ireland benefits hugely from a strong entrepreneurial spirit – the drive and determination among SME owners is simply incredible. More has to be done to encourage and support SMEs and that’s high on our agenda. Significant challenges exist - predictability around cost remains a key consideration. Consumer sentiment has improved significantly in recent months but still has a long way to go.” So how is eircom Business Solutions playing its part? It offers supportive initiatives like Digital Boost, aimed at enabling SME owners across the country to maximise their online potential. Too many SMEs are missing out on the opportunity to engage and transact online. InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Walsh explains: “We recently carried out research among SMEs and 60 per cent of them would like to develop an app for their business, while 75 per cent feel they need to learn more about how they can harness the power of social media for their business. That’s where our Digital Boost programme comes in.” eircom Business Solutions also offers innovative services such as POGO (Payments on the Go), a mobile card reader which enables credit and debit card payments anywhere with wireless coverage via smartphone. It’s all about offering the best technologies and solutions on the market, according to Walsh. “You must be able to provide products and services that help drive efficiency, predictability and cost control,” he says. “It’s all about helping SMEs become more competitive which will in turn help support economic growth and recovery. This is one of the reasons why we set up Lab353, an accelerator programme to help young tech firms scale their operations.” teCh AdvAnCements Technology evolves at a rapid pace and eircom Business Solutions must stay ahead of the curve in terms of the products and services it offers businesses to ensure they remain competitive. So where are we headed with technology and what do SMEs need to know? Walsh believes the future lies in data and making everything as flexible and seamless as possible. “Data is going to become

increasingly important,” he says. “The convergence between fixed and mobile, voice and data networks will be critical. Cloud models will increasingly grow in relevance and that’s all about the flexibility of capacity and cost. Mobility is also key. We’re going to see an increasing reliance on mobility for business.” Walsh sees eircom Business Solutions as being well positioned in the market to deliver on these technological advancements. “eircom is doing more now in terms of investing in capability in the last 18 months than I’ve seen in my career to date with the company,” he says. “We’ve really followed through on our fibre commitment; and we are now more than halfway through our 1.5 billion investment programme which includes 400 million for fibre broadband rollout. We’ll have 1.4 million premises covered by the end of 2015 and now we have introduced new technology which will give speeds of up to 100MB. We intend to have 60 per cent of population coverage on 4G. That’s all a strong endorsement of eircom’s investment. It’s really great to see.” He concludes with the company’s strategy for the foreseeable future: “We are committed to connecting people in the right way to the best network for their business.” Whether that business has a central location in the capital, whether it’s based in a regional town or situated in a vastly remote area, Walsh wants to ensure that eircom Business Solutions does everything it can to get them connected.

DAVID’S FAVOURITE IRISH FILM: The Commitments (1991) The travails of Jimmy Rabbitte to form the world’s hardest working band, The Commitments, and bring soul music to the people of Dublin. Directed by Alan Parker.

Lab353 strengthens ties between

Ireland and

Silicon Valley Established by Silicon Valley Group in partnership with eircom Business Solutions, Lab353 is a new accelerator programme seeking to help ten of the most promising young tech start-ups to establish or scale their operations in Europe and the US. In addition to cash funding, Lab353 offers office space, infrastructure capability, cloud services, strategic management consulting, access to a global network of mentors from Silicon Valley and Ireland, as well as corporate, legal and tax services through Lab353 partners. These services will be provided in the heart of Dublin, providing a European launch pad for tech start-ups. Applications are now open at until 31st December, and will be followed by a ten-week mentoring process based in eircom Business Solutions’ Dublin office. In May 2015 the companies will pitch their ideas to a group of influential investors, with the aim of securing up to $1 million investment each.




For more on the economic and cultural importance of the Irish film industry go to page 23.

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Recent events, including the Star Wars visit to Co Kerry’s Skellig Michael, have pushed Ireland’s film industry firmly into the spotlight. InBUSINESS’s Valerie Jordan spoke with Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys and the CEO of the Irish Film Board James Hickey about the cultural and economic importance of the film industry to Ireland. InBusiness | Q3 2014

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on the Box

During this golden age of television there has been huge growth in the production and filming of high-end international TV drama in Ireland.

Penny Dreadful Set in Victorian London and filmed in Ardmore Studios, Penny Dreadful’s showrunner John Logan has said: “You get better Victorian London in Dublin than you do in London.” The first series was estimated to be worth €33 million to the Irish economy.


This Canadian-Irish co-production was the first project to film at the newly opened state-of-the-art Ashford Studios in Co Wicklow and in the surrounding countryside. Vikings is now filming its third series in Ashford Studios.

Game of Thrones

The hugely successful HBO fantasy drama is filmed in Belfast Studios and on location all over Northern Ireland. £65 million is estimated to have been spent so far and over 800 people were employed on season three.


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013 was a good year for Irish film in terms of figures. Production activity for the independent film, television drama and animation sector reached the highest level on record that year, contributing over a168 million to the Irish economy through employment and spend on local goods and services, representing an increase of 18 per cent on 2012. In 2008 a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report showed turnover in the industry was worth a500 million. The Irish Film Board, Ireland’s national film agency and major film funding body, estimates turnover is similar today; while internal RTÉ production has decreased, activity in the independent sector has increased. There has been impressive growth in major international high-end TV drama production in Ireland, such as Ripper Street and Vikings. Activity in this sector increased from a28 million in 2011 to a81 million in 2013. There are also significant numbers of people employed across the various sectors of the industry. The IFB estimates the number of jobs to be over 7,000 full-time equivalents – substantial industrial activity. Then there’s the impact of film on tourism and Ireland’s reputation abroad. Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys says: “On many occasions, I have heard Irish people say that they would love to go to Bruges in Belgium, simply because they thought it looked like a beautiful city in the film of the same name starring Colin Farrell. There are numerous examples of Irish films showcasing the beauty of rural and

urban Ireland, and I have no doubt that this acts There are as a significant tourism draw. One in five tourists numerous coming here say film was examples an influencing factor. So of Irish while it’s hard to quantify, films I am utterly convinced showcasing that films and TV series the produced here add greatly to ‘Brand Ireland’. beauty of “I was delighted to be rural able to facilitate and visit and the Star Wars shoot on urban Skellig Michael. The film crew may have been there Ireland, and I have for just three days, but what they will produce no doubt will bring the glory and that this incredible beauty of this acts as a little rocky island off the significant Kerry coast to tens of tourism millions of people across the world. You can’t buy draw. that type of exposure.” Heather Like most of the arts Humphreys, industries, film is about Minister for Arts, Heritage and the finely balancing budgets with creativity. CEO of the Gaeltacht IFB, James Hickey believes the industry has both an economic and cultural role. “Not only is this a highly important cultural activity but it’s also a major industrial activity,” he says. “You have to focus on both the

The BBC’s Ripper Street is its second most popular drama next to Downton Abbey. Total value of the first and second series is estimated at around a20 million in spend on local goods and services.

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cultural, creative aspects and the industrial aspects.” Last year the IFB supported 12 Irish feature films, six feature co-productions, 17 documentaries, eight animation projects and two TV dramas – all telling Irish stories. “Film is a major part of how each country tells its stories. We want to support Irish creative talent in telling their stories in whatever way they want to tell them, whether it’s a feature film, a TV drama series or animation,” says Hickey. Back to the economics. Minister Humphreys says: “The IFB directly invested €7.5 million of this budget into feature film, TV and animation projects. This investment allowed Irish producers to raise almost €60 million, which was in turn directly invested in the Irish economy. In other words, Irish producers are delivering some serious bang for the bucks they are getting from the IFB.” This year has been particularly successful for Irish film, both critically and at the box office. Films like The Stag, Calvary, Frank and Jimmy’s Hall received positive reviews and box office success: Calvary took over

a1.6m in the Irish box office alone and The Stag made more Not only than its total budget (a600,000) at the Irish box office. is this a But the real boon, for highly numbers, is getting big budget important FDI projects to our shores. cultural Section 481 is an investor based activity tax incentive for film, television drama, animation and but it’s documentary made in Ireland. also a Last year the Government major extended its tax incentive for industrial the film, TV and animation activity. industries until 2020. The tax relief scheme under Section You have 481 will be restructured to focus as a credit on 1st January on both 2015 and will include further the enhancements such as cultural, increasing the rebate to 32 creative per cent from 28 per cent of expenditure. aspects “Section 481 is key to and the sustaining a healthy film and industrial TV industry here, and that is why the Government took the aspects. decision to extend this financial James Hickey, incentive until 2020. This will CEO IFB go a long way to ensuring that Ireland remains internationally competitive as a film and TV location,” says Minister Humphreys. “I think ensuring stability for the industry is crucial – and that’s why the continuation


in Film

Gráinne Humphreys, Director of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival predicted 2014 would be “a bumper year for Irish cinema with a staggering amount of great Irish talent and films on display.” Here’s a look at five of this year’s best.


Directed by John Michael McDonagh and filmed in Sligo and Dublin, Calvary stars Brendan Gleeson and a host of Irish talent.


Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Frank is a quirky black comedy about a band of eccentric musicians including frontman Frank who wears a fake head.

Run & Jump

Steph Green’s Run & Jump features memorable performances by Will Forte and Maxine Peake about a wife, her brain damaged husband and an American doctor who comes to Ireland to study them.


Directed by the 26-year old Gerard Barrett and starring Jack Reynor, Toni Collette, Will Poulter and Michael Smiley, Glassland deals with addiction and the criminal underworld in Dublin.

Song of the Sea

Look out for Song of the Sea, an upcoming 2014 Irish animated fantasy by Cartoon Saloon directed by Academy Award nominee Tomm Moore. It’s a tale of childhood, loss and overcoming fear.

The Stag

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Renaissance of

Animation The flourishing animation sector now accounts for one-third of the country’s audio-visual industry and production activity is increasing year on year. Ireland’s animation industry is renowned worldwide; in recent times Irish companies have animated across film, television, the web and video games, for companies like RTÉ, BBC, Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. In an interview with Film Ireland founder of Boulder Media, Robert Cullen, said: “We’re definitely punching above our weight. With all the big shows that are out there, so many seem to be produced or co-produced in Ireland. It’s great for Ireland’s reputation.” Awards and accolades for Irish animation have also poured in. Both Brown Bag Films’ Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty and Give Up Yer Aul Sins as well as Cartoon Saloon’s The Secret of Kells have been nominated for Academy Awards. JAM Media’s Roy and Boulder Media’s The Amazing World of Gumball have won BAFTAs and four Irish animation companies (Cartoon Saloon, Brown Bag Films, Monster Animation, JAM Media) have previously been named European Producer of the Year at the renowned Cartoon Forum. Producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly was also Oscar nominated for her work on the short Head Over Heels in 2013.


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of Section 481 until 2020 will give the sector a level We have a of certainty for the next six years or so.” fundamental One of the key role to selling points of the tax play not incentive is that credit only in is paid immediately on funding the the first day of principal photography. The industry amendments will also but also in include non EU personnel supporting qualifying as eligible the expenditure, which will be another factor attributing future to Ireland’s attractiveness development as a destination for filming of the and production. industry. “Section 481 has the Heather wonderful effect not Humphreys , only of supporting Minister for Arts, Irish creative talent but Heritage and the also supporting inward Gaeltacht creative talent that comes to Ireland and provides work for Irish talent, cast and crew. Most recently we have been successful in attracting high-end TV drama: Vikings, Brown Bag Penny Dreadful, Ripper Street,” Films Give Up says Hickey. “We’re very excited Yer Aul Sins about the prospects that gives us & Granny O’Grimm’s. in terms of being able to deliver additional inward investment, jobs and growth as well as supporting the Irish indigenous sector.” Ireland has the talent, the studios, the resources and of course the all important tax incentives to get these lucrative productions to Ireland – activity having increased from a28 million in 2011 to a81 million last year. Major dramas such as those mentioned above have chosen Ireland as their filming location. In contrast indigenous TV drama production in Ireland has decreased. In 2008 RTÉ spent a45 million on TV drama but by 2013 this was down to a22 million. However, recent success stories like Love/Hate and Amber have cast a light on Ireland’s ability to produce dramas of calibre. This autumn RTÉ will also be airing Charlie; a story about Charles Haughey, politics and power, starring Aidan

Gillen and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. “I think we need to continue to look at co-production deals as a positive option for Irish film producers,” says Minister Humphreys. “When the Irish element is in the majority, it allows producers to raise international finance for their project, which is then spent on supporting production activity here at home. Irish minority co-productions are also important because they can create fantastic opportunities for Irish talent to work on international productions, and can in turn promote Ireland as a great destination for film making.” Once again it’s about achieving that balance between telling our own stories and attracting enough overseas investment to fuel the industry. “What we want to see is growth,” says Hickey, “both in terms of success of Irish creative talent and increased levels of FDI. We have a fundamental role to play not only in funding the industry but also in supporting the future development of the industry.” “Culturally, film plays an essential role,” agrees the Minister. “The Irish film sector is awash with creative talent which is bringing Irish culture to a global audience. The Irish film industry would be nothing without incredible Irish talent. And while the Government can’t manufacture talent, it can put the right conditions in place to let it flourish.” The Irish film industry provides huge opportunities for Ireland in terms of box office revenue, job creation and selling itself as a destination for tourists or for FDI filming. “I think we have huge opportunities in terms of selling Ireland. But actually the real reason for film is it’s important culturally,” says Hickey. “We should be telling our own stories, to me that is the ultimate basis for all of this. It’s the cultural benefit to the country, it’s the soul and spirit of the country that you’re actually putting out there. If it creates jobs that’s so much the better,” concludes Hickey. InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Speakers From November 4-6 2014, Dublin will be a hub for international forerunners in technology, business and innovation. InBUSINESS profiles ten keynote speakers at this year’s Web Summit.

he Web Summit has grown to become one of the biggest technology-related conferences in the world. Since its inception in 2010, the number of attendees has multiplied by 20 with just under 10,000 people turning up to the event in 2013. This year sees the Web Summit broaden its horizons as it expands to include food, music, film and sport summits. In previous years, technology has dominated discussion in the way of talks from entrepreneurs and engineers. However, this year an international audience will be treated to speakers from a wider range of backgrounds, including models, actors, academics and sports stars, while CMOs and CTOs of brands such as CocaCola, Unilever and American Express will be speaking at the marketing summit. The Web Summit just keeps getting bigger and better – and it’s right on Dublin’s doorstep.

Mark Pincus Mark Pincus is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, renowned as the founder of several Internet start-up companies, including and Freeloader, Inc. He is perhaps best known as the co-founder of Zynga in 2007, which makes games (e.g. FarmVille) that are hosted on social networking sites and can be played on smartphones. In 2009, Pincus received the CEO of the Year award at the Crunchies technology industry awards.

Peter Thiel Venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel has been associated with some of the most enterprising companies to emerge from Silicon Valley in the past decade. In addition to being the first investor in Facebook, he cofounded online money transfer company PayPal in 1998 and served as its CEO until the company was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. He also co-founded computer software and services company Palantir Technologies.

The Web Summit has grown to become one of the biggest


Drew Houston

Max Levchin

Drew Houston received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006. After graduating, tired of carrying USB drives and emailing himself files, he teamed up with fellow MIT student, Arash Ferdowsi in 2007 and eventually founded Dropbox. Barely out of his 20s, he is now the CEO of the company, which provides its service to millions of users around the world.

Another original co-founder of PayPal, Max Levchin is the CEO of Affirm, a company which partners with e-commerce companies to let customers get instant lines of credit for purchasing items on their sites. Levchin was CTO of PayPal until its acquisition by eBay. He then went on to cofound Yelp, the ratings and review service where he is currently Chairman of the Board. He also serves on the boards of other companies including Yahoo! and Evernote.

conferences in the world. 28

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Padmasree Warrior

John Sculley

Tony Fadell

John Sculley was the CEO of PepsiCo before being lured to Apple by Steve Jobs in the early 1980s. Sculley took over as CEO in 1983, leading the company through its infancy – a position which he held until 1993. In those ten years, Apple saw its annual sales grow from $800 million to $8 billion. Since leaving, Sculley has invested in a number of high-tech start-up companies and has joined forces with his brothers to create Sculley Brothers LLC.

Tony Fadell has authored more than 300 patents. He is the founder and CEO of home automation company, Nest, which in January of this year, he sold to Google for $3.2 billion. A one-time Apple senior vicepresident, Fadell formerly led the team at Apple that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. Prior to this, he built the Mobile Computing Group at Philips Electronics.

The Web Summit just keeps getting bigger and better – and it’s right on Dublin’s doorstep.

Eva Longoria American actress and angel investor, Eva Longoria is best known for her role on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination. In addition to acting, Longoria has undertaken various business ventures and is widely known for her charity work – she was previously named philanthropist of the year by the Hollywood Reporter. Her charity work includes founding Eva’s Heroes, a charity which helps individuals with intellectual special needs.

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Padmasree Warrior is the Chief Technology & Strategy Officer at Cisco. She was formerly the CTO and also co-led Cisco’s worldwide engineering organisation. Formerly, Warrior served as executive vice president and CTO at Motorola, and under her leadership, Motorola was awarded the 2004 National Medal of Technology. In 2012, Forbes named her as one of the world’s 100 most powerful women, and The Economic Times listed her as the 11th most influential global Indian.

Lily Cole

Jeff Jampol

Lily Cole is an English model and actress. Her career as a model was launched after being scouted in London at age 14. Since then, Cole has worked for many mainstream fashion titles and starred in a string of films. In addition, Cole also founded, a commercefree online community which allows users to share time, skills and objects. She was awarded a double first in History of Art from Cambridge in 2011.

As the founder and president of JAM Inc., Jeff Jampol has managed The Doors, Ramones, Tupac Shajur, and the estates of Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Peter Tosh and Rick James. Jampol has also been involved in filmmaking, and in 2009 produced the Grammy Awardwinning When You’re Strange. In addition to management, consulting and teaching work, Jampol is an active counsellor, speaker and volunteer in the field of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery.


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g n i v i t a r D Se


e h t in

Uber isn’t the first smartphone app in Ireland connecting riders to drivers, but it is differentiating itself within the market. InBUSINESS spoke to Uber UK & Ireland’s General Manager, Jo Bertram, about the importance of choice, quality and rider experience.


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was brought to meet Jo Bertram, General Manager of Uber UK & Ireland by Uber Black. The service was undeniably slick; the suited driver opened the door of the black S Class Mercedes where the leather upholstery met a cavern of space and the seat pocket contained a bottle of still water. So this is travelling in style, with Uber Black. But it’s not all about Uber Black; UberX provides quality taxis at better-than-everyday prices. “UberX appeals to a much broader demographic,” Jo Bertram tells me. “It’s ten to 30 per cent cheaper than standard taxi fares. Since we’ve launched in Dublin growth has increased significantly, we’ve actually doubled in size. We’ve hundreds of cars on the road and tens of thousands of users.” Where Uber Black employs top end private cars UberX uses regular taxis, so how can it afford to offer reduced fares? “We’re able to keep them busier so the driver earns the same amount for the shift but the

customer gets a cheaper fare,” says Bertram. But fare isn’t Uber’s only point of differentiation: “It should be cheaper than a taxi but also better. We curate the quality points carefully, there are guidelines on vehicle age, quality and type and at the end of every trip the user gives feedback so we get real time view on whether the driver is performing or if the car is in bad condition and we’re able to address that.” User experience or rider experience is a key focus of Uber’s business: “I think the user experience from sign in all the way through booking is beautifully done,” asserts Bertram. “We’re constantly innovating on the app. We’ve launched in-app navigation, so the driver can get turn by turn navigation to where to pick you up. While most drivers should know their routes, every so often there’s a destination that no one knows where it is.” The Uber app offers riders certain facilities, currently unavailable with the competition, like the convenience of splitting fares and a ‘share my ETA’ InBUSINESS | Q3 2014

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option which Bertram says she uses when travelling alone at night. This function allows riders to generate a text message with a live link that allows recipients to track the progress of the rider’s journey. It’s proven very popular with Uber users. The competition, of course, is Hailo. Hailo launched in Dublin just over two years ago and has since rolled its services out across the country. About 9,000 taxi drivers in Ireland are signed up to the service. Passengers adopted Hailo with huge enthusiasm; Hailo Ireland’s customer base now far exceeds its original expectations. How so is Uber, as second entrant, capturing a piece of this market? It’s simply about getting bums on seats. “We really believe in the Uber product and service. We think if we can get you in a car and you see the end to end experience, see the car, speak to the driver and see the price then you will ride again,” states Bertram. “We partner with events and venues where it adds value for our partners and us to offer a first free ride for individuals; that gets us to the right demographic. “But what we’ve found most effective is peer feedback. As a user if you invite someone [to Uber] they get 10 credit, when they ride you get 10 credit. That’s been very powerful.” Uber has been known to pull some stunts too – they’ve harnessed the ability of the app in delivering drivers to deliver red roses, Christmas trees, icecreams and even kittens. It is marketing – Uber wants to amuse and engage its customers – but it is also about testing and adapting the Uber model: “You can order a car at the touch of a button but it’s remarkably easy for us to put something else into the app. We want to discover whether we can globally deliver something other than a car,” says Bertram. “In New York they have Uber Rush; a bike courier. In the app you can say ‘I need keys or a document’ and a InBUSINESS | Q3 2014

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UBER’S Promotions

The sky is the limit when it comes to Uber’s promotions


This summer Uber installed an ice-cream delivery option in its app. Ice-cream vans and luxury cars delivered iced treats to Dubliners despite the pouring rain.


Jo Bertram, Uber UK & Ireland’s General Manager




bike courier comes and picks it up and takes it to somewhere else across Manhattan.” Whether or not kitten delivery takes off it does seem like there’s scope for Uber’s business. Bertram also emphasises Uber as a new opportunity for taxi drivers. “Many of them recognise we are offering an opportunity to earn more money. Instead of sitting at the back of a taxi rank with a load of other cars they can turn on the Uber app and they might get another job,” she muses. “Drivers can work with Uber as much as they want, whenever they want. It’s very flexible.” Uber aims to be in more cities in the UK and Ireland before the end of the year, though Bertram is keeping shtum on where just now. “We see Uber as adding value in any city in which there is a difficulty getting around,” says Bertram. “Choice is the biggest thing we want to offer. It’s more choice for the consumer, it doesn’t have to be a replacement. Sometimes you walk, sometimes you take the bus, sometimes you take X sometimes you take Black. It all depends on what you want.” Jo Bertram was in conversation with Valerie Jordan.

Uber proved it could deliver romance at the touch of a button. The company offered on demand delivery of red roses for Valentine’s Day in 2013. How rose-mantic.


In December 2013 Uber helped alleviate the pressure of the Christmas rush. In cities across the US, it delivered trees through the app in cooperation with Home Depot.


Uber allowed users to select a ‘Kitten!’ delivery button for a cuddle with a kitten in celebration of National Cat Day 2013. Proceeds were donated to local animal shelters.


This year Uber choppers flew from New York to The Hamptons for the 4th of July weekend and on-demand jets were available from Paris to Cannes for the Film Festival.


20/10/2014 17:36:53

Start-Up Feature

1 Cathal Furey, CEO and Founder of FanFootage talks to InBUSINESS about his award-winning tech venture which has seen him rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in music.


odaline, Bon Jovi, Tegan and Sara, Heathers and Hozier are just some of the major acts who have used the services of Irish tech start-up FanFootage. FanFootage is a technology platform with smartphone applications for Android and Apple devices that allows fans to film and capture their experience and be part of an artist’s next live video. Established by Cathal Furey in 2011 and based in Dublin, FanFootage uses its own accurate audio matching algorithms to sort and automatically sync the fan-shot video with the artist-approved live audio from the concert. We caught up


032 InBusiness Q2 2014_Fan Footage.indd 32

with Furey to find out more about the company and to see if he’s looking to team up with any of his favourite artists. IB: Could you give me some background on FanFootage and where the idea came from? CF: I was lecturing in DCU and developed the ‘video bug’ when teaching some multimedia modules. From there I bought a Canon DSLR camera and began filming and editing short pieces. After filming some bands as a volunteer at the Galway Arts Festival and subequently in venues around Dublin, I realised that many fans were also filming at concerts. On their own, the fan videos didn’t capture the gig properly and usually sounded awful. However, if they were all combined and synced with proper live sound, it was almost as good as professionally shot video and more interesting to watch.

for the


While working on developing a basic prototype of what is now FanFootage, our CTO Vinny Glennon and CCO Rowan Devereux joined the team. That’s when the company began to really take shape. We quickly realised that having the band pick one song from their concert and asking the fans to all film it together is the ideal way to use FanFootage. It’s a fair compromise between giving the fans an opportunity to capture a special memory on video, and not spoiling the experience of the rest of the show by encouraging fans to film the whole thing. As people began to see the power of FanFootage in the live music space, sports organisations and brand sponsors began to approach us about doing the same thing at big matches. Although live sports was something that was always on our product roadmap, this demand led us to expand to sports events ahead of schedule.

IB: What is your company’s mission? CF: We want to document significant events around the world through the eyes of those who are present. For now our focus is on live music and sports events, but we plan to expand to include weddings, birthdays, conferences and other events in the future.

IB: How did you initially fund the business? CF: Our journey so far has been financed by the management team, with support from Enterprise Ireland. IB: How many staff do you have? CF: Five full-time, with several others involved part-time. IB: Are there many other companies out there doing what you’re doing? CF: There are some others out there looking at the same opportunity as us. Evergig and Vyclone are the main ones InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:36:33

Start-Up FeatUre

Cathal Furey, CEO and Founder of FanFootage

competing with us in live music, but our platform is more capable and better for brand engagement. The simple ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ brand of FanFootage. com is also a competitive advantage for us. IB: How do you market your services? CF: Initially we worked with lots of Irish bands to test and refine our platform. From there we began to reach out to record labels, management companies, promoters and brands in the UK and US. Our website and each major event we cover are also great marketing tools for FanFootage. It’s quite a simple but powerful concept, so when people hear about us they tend to pass the word on to their personal networks. IB: What are the main challenges your company faces in terms of growth? CF: This crowd-sourced event video space is a huge opportunity. Right now we are in a great position to become the dominant player as the market grows. InBUSIneSS | Q3 2014

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One of our key challenges as an Irish-based startup is to get the necessary finance and team in place so we can aggressively pursue the opportunities for FanFootage in key North American and European markets. IB: Is there an artist, organisation or business you would love to collaborate with? CF: We’d love to work with U2 on their next tour. They are an amazing Irish band who are giants in the industry, and each tour they do sets new standards for innovation and fan experience. FanFootage would be a great fit with them, and this is something we are trying to make happen. Other bands would be 30 Seconds From Mars, Queens Of The Stone Age and of course the phenomenon that is One Direction. In the sports space, we’re looking forward to working with iconic teams such as Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and events like the football and rugby World Cups. IB: What was the significance of your recent work with US rock group Linkin Park and how did it come about? CF: It was a significant moment for us when FanFootage was used

by Linkin Park to create a fan-shot live video at their recent headline show in Milan. With over 60 million Facebook fans and a reputation for using cutting-edge technology, our successful collaboration with Linkin Park has opened up other great opportunities for FanFootage. We initially met with Kavi Halemane, the Head of Digital at their management company The Collective at the 2013 Web Summit in Dublin. We spoke again when we were both on a panel together at the Digital Entertainment World Conference in Los Angeles in February, and Kavi contacted us about the Milan show just as the band were releasing their latest album and looking for cool ways to generate content with their fans. IB: If you could go back in time, which concert do you wish FanFootage could have produced a video of?

CF: One of U2’s famous series of Dandelion Market shows in 1979 would have been very special. The Grateful Dead were one of the pioneers of building a real tribe or movement around their music, and encouraging them to share concert sound recordings. They even played three shows in 1978 in front of The Pyramids in Egypt. That would have been epic to capture through the eyes of the fans. I think we’ve already captured some historic shows with FanFootage though – Hozier playing ‘Take Me To Church’ at Hard Working Class Heroes in Dublin in October 2013 is one that is going to stand the test of time I’m sure. IB: Any major plans for FanFootage in the coming years? CF: Yes, we’re going to be the number one event video platform for live music and sport by 2015. There are a lot of exciting companies starting to emerge from the Irish tech and start-up scene recently, but there hasn’t really been a major Irishborn hit in the consumer space yet. We’re focused on becoming that company, so watch this space!

CATHAL’S FAVOURITE IRISH FILM: Once (2006) A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story. Directed by John Carney. For more on the economic and cultural importance of the Irish film industry go to page 23.


20/10/2014 13:36:40


Samba Success

As one of the select sponsors of last summer’s FIFA World Cup, Armagh-based poultry firm Moy Park was able to reach a global audience. Dean Van Nguyen reports.

aking place every four years, the FIFA World Cup offers football fans a month long carnival of the beautiful game as players from around the world represent their nations competing for the sport’s ultimate prize. Leaking into every nook of daily life and popular culture, the World Cup is altogether inescapable, and as well as offering 64 matches to gorge on, it gives its sponsors an incredible opportunity to reach a mammoth-sized audience. According to FIFA, an estimated 910 million viewers worldwide watched at least part of the 2010 World Cup final. Even in the US, which has been long considered a dormant territory, when it comes to soccer support, 18.2 million viewers tuned in this year to watch their match against Portugal. A Tournament in Demand With numbers like this, advertising space and sponsorship at the World Cup is highly coveted. FIFA’s partners include global giants like Sony, Visa, Coca-Cola and Emirates, while Budweiser, McDonald’s and Castrol were among the companies to sponsor this


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summer’s tournament. Also on the list of corporate partners was the less recognisable name of Moy Park. Based in Northern Ireland, the company is the European division of Marfrig Global Foods, one of the world’s largest food companies. Moy Park specialises in locally-farmed poultry and convenience foods, and employs 11,500 people working across 16 production sites in the UK, Ireland, Holland and France. Perhaps an unexpected brand to have at such a high profile event, the opportunity arose via Moy Park’s Brazil-based parent company. “Through Marfrig we sponsored the World Cup in South Africa 2010, so it struck up a relationship with FIFA,” says Andrew Nethercott, Director of Brand Marketing at Moy Park. “This time, with the tournament being in the home of our parent company, there was a real focus. It was a great opportunity to get the Moy Park name out there and it showed the confidence the global Marfrig Group has in the Moy Park brand. To put it centre stage in what is the biggest competition globally, it was an amazing opportunity.” Moy Park is no stranger to sponsoring sporting events. The company has been InBusiness | Q3 2014

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involved in golf ’s European tour for the past three years, which includes supporting The Irish Open which is due to return to Northern Ireland after a three year absence next June. The company is also a strong supporter of local sports teams, and is particularly involved with communities surrounding its factories. Mixed Exposure While there is no denying the vast publicity generated by advertising at an event as big as the World Cup, sponsors can run the risk of exposing themselves to a public backlash given the politicking that generally takes place in host nations. Prior to the opening ceremony of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup staged in Brazil (essentially a trial run for the larger-scale tournament), protests took place outside the venue to voice locals’ discontent with the amount of public money being spent on hosting the World Cup. Further demonstrations occurred prior to and during the World Cup. Luckily for Moy Park, the company experienced no recoil for its association with the event. “We saw this before when in previous sponsorships,” says Nethercott. “Generally speaking, when you build up to these campaigns the talk is negative. But actually, when the football or Olympics begin, everybody embraces it,” he asserts. “It was probably the best World Cup there’s ever been – it was the highest global audience. Certainly from a brand presence point of view, we got a lot out of it, and I think the challenge for us going forward is that we make sure we build upon the momentum of the World Cup.” Indeed, Moy Park’s breaded chicken products experienced a 15.4 per cent increase in sales between May and July as a result of its World Cup exposure. But the company had been reporting impressive sales figures before then. In 2013, the company grew its turnover by over ten per cent to £1.2 billion over the year, posting profits of just short of £34 million. This success has been attributed to various factors and its Brazil presence served to ensure the numbers would continue to move in the right direction. “One of the things we attribute it to is how demand for openly sourced poultry is helping to drive growth,” says Nethercott. “But I believe our long term success is down to a few things really – our focus on continuous improvement, delivering high quality, great value products for our InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Andrew Nethercott, Director of Brand Marketing at Moy Park

But I believe our

long term success is down to a few things really – our focus on

continuous improvement, delivering high quality, great value products for our customers every time.

Moy Park World Cup branding

customers every time. And the team. The people we’ve got in the organisation are a really strong team of dedicated, committed people who demonstrate passion and energy.” Expansion Reflecting this strong growth in sales, in July the company announced a £170 million expansion that will create 628 new jobs across their three primary sites in Northern Ireland – Dungannon, Craigavon and Ballymena. The expansion will include investment in additional processing lines and the establishment of an innovation centre, which Moy Park says will drive new product development. According to Nethercott, the expansion underlines the confidence the firm has in the business and the sector going forward. “We’re bringing a lot to the local economy in Northern Ireland in terms of extra wages,” he says. “This has been long in the planning and reinforces the confidence that we’ve got in growing our business across Ireland, the UK and continental Europe as well.” In addition to the expansion, Nethercott is keen that the company will continue to focus on what he calls “the fundamentals”. That is, growing the Moy Park brand across the island of Ireland and increasing the reach of their social media outlets. “Social media is a real focus for us. We had a very successful social media campaign feature around the World Cup. We saw our Facebook base grow by over 20 per cent and we will continue to invest in the brand, continue to invest in our customer base, and you will see lots of Moy Park over the next 12 months.” 35

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17/10/2014 09:44:17

A round up of all the news and events from Chamber networks nationwide


Catch Up Enterprise and Innovation

Key to Growth The Celtic Tiger economy ground to a halt because of its dependence on creditfinanced domestic consumption and residential property development. But now the key to sustainable economic growth is the development of enterprise, exports and innovation. That’s Kevin Thompstone, President, according to Shannon Shannon Chamber (extreme Chamber president Kevin right) pictured at Dromoland Thompstone who was Castle Hotel with (front l-r) Jerry Moloney, Regional addressing an audience Director, MidWest, Enterprise of business executives in Ireland; Rose Hynes, Dromoland Castle Hotel, Chairman, Shannon Group Co Clare on September plc; Helen Downes, CEO, 11th, where Enterprise Shannon Chamber and Julie Ireland’s CEO Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, keynote speaker. Sinnamon gave the Also pictured, Shannonkeynote address. The based company CEOs who audience, comprising attended Shannon Chamber’s Chamber members autumn lunch. and the wider business community, was representative of the growing indigenous and multinational sectors in Shannon and the wider region.

InBusiness | Q2 2014

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Chamber Comment “We welcome the Government’s commitment to sustaining this recovery and boosting Ireland’s competitiveness. Increasing the numbers of people in work must remain the core priority for Government.” Mark O’Mahoney, Director of Policy and Communications, Chambers Ireland responding to the quarterly national accounts which show that the Irish economy grew by 7.7 per cent in GDP terms and by 9 per cent in GNP terms year on year.


20/10/2014 13:39:15

Chambers News

Fringe Festival Returns to Wexford

Limerick Takes Action on Sponsorship

Wexford is gearing up for its annual Fringe Festival, an open-access arts festival which will run in parallel to Wexford Opera Festival from 17th October to 2nd November 2014. Now in its 62nd year, Wexford Fringe offers an eclectic mix of over 300 events over 17 days including cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, film, theatre, puppetry, music, and visual art, many of which are free to attend.

David Jeffreys, Action Point, Cathal Treacy, Limerick Chamber and John Savage, Action Point being served by Daragh from the Limerick Strand Hotel.

Chamber Comment “It is vital that funds raised through the LPT are used to provide a sustainable funding base for Local Authorities. This will help provide a new level of autonomy for local government, and importantly, it will encourage accountability at a local level.” Chambers Ireland’s Mark O’Mahoney welcomes the decision to allow local authorities to retain 80 per cent of the Local Property Tax (LPT) collected within their area.


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imerick Chamber has announced Action Point as the main sponsor of the 2014 Limerick Chamber President’s Dinner. The President’s Dinner, taking place on November 21st in the Limerick Strand Hotel, is the region’s foremost business event with an attendance of over 440 leading business people from the region. The event will again incorporate the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards for the fourth year running.

Castlebar Guide Launched Castlebar Chamber has launched a new essential guide to highlight the attractions and activites available in the town and encourage more people to schedule a visit to Castlebar when they are touring in the west. The guide is now being distributed to hotels, B&Bs, airports, tourism offices and other points across the region where they are likely to target new visitors for the area.

The colourful and vibrant 30-page booklet, which was produced by the Chamber with support from local businesses and the Love Castlebar initiative, is packed with activities, attractions and photographs that showcase the town as a top destination. For more information go to

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:39:16

Chambers News

Euro 2020 Games To Kick €50m Plus Into Economy


he staging of four Euro 2020 football matches in Aviva Stadium could be worth between €50€100 million for the city, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Dublin has been confirmed by UEFA as one of 12 host cities for the championships, which will take place in the summer of 2020. According to Dublin Chamber chief executive Gina Quin: “Depending on which teams are drawn to play in Dublin, the four matches will provide a significant boost for the city. Big events are key to growing visitor numbers and sports tourism has the capacity to generate much-needed growth in Ireland’s economy.” Dublin Chamber, which supported the bid, has congratulated the Football Association of Ireland and Dublin City Council on their efforts to bring Euro 2020 to Dublin.

Entrepreneur Exchange Pictured at the launch of The Entrepreneur Exchange is Paul Keyes, CEO Sligo Chamber, Fergal Broder, CEO, LotusWorks and Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager with the Western Development Commission.

Sligo is to host a one-to-one mentoring event that will match 24 budding entrepreneurs with 24 experienced business leaders over 24 hours. The Entrepreneur Exchange is being run by Sligo Chamber, The Western Development Commission and the Enterprise Europe Network. The event is mainly aimed at the food and beverage, the medical device, technology, clean tech, and engineering industries. It will take place at the Radisson Hotel, Sligo on 27th to 28th November. Ticket applications close on November 8th.

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Chamber Comment “There’s huge frustration that a deal with the potential to inject a US$1 trillion stimulus into the global economy has been blocked by a diplomatic standoff in Geneva. The deal agreed in Bali last December matters to us all. We’re talking about a common-sense package of reforms that will make it easier for small businesses to export, reduce prices for consumers and help tackle corruption.” Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive and ICC Ireland Secretary General, commenting on efforts to reach a solution that will see the Trade Facilitation Agreement implemented as soon as possible.

Guinness Shares Secrets to Success

Leaders in hospitality, tourism and leisure came together on 9th September in Kildare Village to learn from the most successful tourist destination in Ireland – the Guinness Storehouse. Pictured at the breakfast briefing are Allan Shine, CEO, North Kildare Chamber, Maureen Bergin, Retail Director, Kildare Village, Paul Carty, MD, Guinness Storehouse, Maria McGovern, Marketing Director, Kildare Village.


20/10/2014 13:39:20

Chambers News Mediation

A Move Towards

Mediation Mark O’Mahoney, Director of Policy and Communications, Chambers Ireland explains how the Chamber works to promote mediation and alternative dispute resolution to the Irish business community.


he further delay of the longawaited Mediation Bill has disappointed many advocates of alternative dispute resolution amongst both the legal and business communities. It is envisaged that the Mediation Bill, once published, will put some welcome structure around how mediation as a dispute resolution process fits within the wider array of legal avenues open to parties in dispute. It should create an environment where mediation and facilitated dispute resolution can become the norm as opposed to the traditional, confrontational model of litigation. However, the delay in the publication of the Mediation Bill does not mean that a move towards alternative dispute resolution isn’t already well underway. Chambers Ireland works in close partnership with the Bar Council, the Law Society, and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) to promote mediation and alternative dispute resolution to the Irish business community. We work on the promotion of alternative dispute resolution at a number of levels. As the national representative of the International Chamber of Commerce, we work closely with the Bar Council, the Law Society, and the CIArb to nominate Irish experts to arbitrate and mediate on international commercial disputes at the ICC Court of Arbitration in


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Paris. However, we are also very focused on promoting mediation as an option for SMEs in Ireland. Larger companies may be well aware of the benefits, and availability, of mediation as a method to resolve commercial disputes. However, this isn’t always the case with SMEs. They can often find themselves tied up in lengthy and expensive court battles,

The courts system has given its stamp of approval to mediation, and both the legal profession and the business community must acknowledge its value.” with relatively small sums in dispute. We would like to get the message out to SMEs that mediation should be their first option when in commercial dispute rather than waiting until the proverbial steps of the courthouse to settle any differences. For example, we are currently cooperating with a number of European Chambers of Commerce, mediation centres, and the European Association of Judges for Mediation, to develop a series of pilot mediation schemes across Europe. We are hopeful that we can work with partners in Government, the legal profession, the courts service, and the judiciary to develop a pilot scheme for mediation in commercial disputes at circuit court

level. We’re hopeful that this can be achieved in 2015. Mediation is also becoming increasingly popular in dispute resolution across a diverse range of areas, according to Jayne Maguire, PRO of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators: “When it comes to dispute resolution, it has become abundantly clear that mediation is the future. The courts system has given its stamp of approval to mediation, and both the legal profession and the business community must acknowledge its value. At CIArb our dedication to mediation is clearly demonstrated by our commitment to the training and professional development of specially qualified mediators.” Workplace mediation training is becoming increasingly popular, and this gives members the necessary skills to work with disputes in small, medium and large businesses. All members qualified in this specific area have a detailed knowledge of employment law. An important point is that workplace mediators will, at all times, attempt to help parties achieve their own resolutions that allow them to continue working together. The CIArb have also developed courses in Court Alternative Mediation and Environmental and Planning Mediation. Regardless of the nature of a dispute, the trend is towards parties looking to a skilled and qualified mediator to help them resolve their disputes. Notwithstanding the delay in the Mediation Bill, the culture of mediation in Ireland is growing uninhibited.

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:40:25

Chambers News European Parliament of Enterprises

Businesses Take Over European Parliament Now in its seventh year, the European Parliament of Enterprises will welcome Irish businesses to Brussels to gain an insight into the real impact the EU can have on the business community.


he European Parliament of Enterprises (EPE) is an initiative developed by EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The first event took place in 2008 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Eurochambres. The event allows business people from all over Europe to become Members of the European Parliament of Enterprises (MEPEs) for one day and get a unique look at how one of the most powerful bodies in the world goes about their decision making process. The aim of the initiative is to bridge the gap in knowledge of both the business community and the European Parliament about what the other does. There is a feeling among the business community that European legislators do not take into account the concerns of entrepreneurs, for example, with regards to excessive red tape and ‘gold plating’ of directives. On the other hand, businesses are largely unfamiliar with the exact role of the Parliament and the significance that the institution’s decisions can have on their day-to-day business activities. The EPE is an opportunity for both parties to learn in a collaborative environment.

What happens at the EPE? 751 entrepreneurs, or MEPEs, from EU countries, gather in the symbolic location of the Hemicycle of the European Parliament. The composition of the EPE reflects the number of Members of the European Parliament per member state. Additionally, 53 seats have been allocated for entrepreneurs coming

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from the 18 non-EU EUROCHAMBRES members. The EPE recreates a parliamentary session and gives the floor to European entrepreneurs. This highlights the ‘economic democracy’ of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry through their representation and their structure. On the day, MEPEs will hear a range of presentations from key EU personnel and take part in debates on topics of significance to the business community. This year, the major topics are internationalisation, skills, finance and energy. There will also be voting sessions which will allow participants to vote on issues and see the decision making process first hand.

Why is the EPE so important? The EPE offers a unique opportunity for business people to step away from their everyday role for a day and see what it’s like on the other side. Decisions are made at EU level everyday which can have a direct effect on your business but there is little understanding among the business community about the real impact the EU can have. Participants will gain a real understanding of both the importance of these decisions and how they are made.

How is Ireland involved in the EPE? Chambers Ireland, as the EPE National Coordinator for Ireland, will bring a delegation of Irish business representatives to the EPE. This year’s event takes place on Thursday, October 16th in the Hemicycle of

the European Parliament in Brussels. We will also host a special breakfast meeting for Irish participants on the morning of the EPE. Here, delegates will have the opportunity to meet with Irish MEPs and air the current concerns of businesses in Ireland. For more information on the EPE, please contact Regina Saponari at or on 01 400 4326.

“Looking forward to enhancing my understanding of the working of the European Union. So often SMEs are presented with fait accompli legislation not knowing how they can influence these decisions. Change can be an opportunity but we need collaboration by listening to all from the ground up. Go raibh maith agaibh.” Fiona Connolly, Network Ireland Business Woman of the Year 2013/2014


20/10/2014 13:41:32

Partner Profile ESB

Innovative Energy Partnership

Takes Flight


SB and Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) recently announced an innovative collaboration agreement to introduce advanced low carbon technologies and achieve 30 per cent energy saving at Dublin Airport. The agreement is the first full spectrum energy collaboration of its kind in Ireland and aims to make the airport an international energy exemplar airport complex by 2020. While aiming to position Ireland’s de facto national gateway, Dublin Airport, as a leading energy efficient and clean energy airport, the project also aims to deliver annual energy cost savings.

in areas such as optimised load management, zero emission mobility solutions and low carbon energy technologies. ESB will initially work with DAA to review its current energy users, systems and operations across the campus to identify opportunities to improve energy performance at the airport. Longer term, ESB will work with DAA to develop their strategic energy plan for the airport to optimise cost benefit and investment return whilst continuing to deliver on energy and emission reductions. In return, DAA will assign the SEAI Better Energy Efficiency Credits attainable from implemented projects to ESB.

ESB’s Role

Objectives and Targets

ESB will provide DAA with access to a broad range of power sector expertise

Dublin Airport, similar to most leading international airports, boasts

ESB and DAA have joined forces to achieve a 30 per cent energy saving at Dublin Airport.

a campus comparable to a small city with terminal buildings, offices, hotels, hangars, emergency and maintenance depots and transport infrastructure amongst the plethora of considerations for DAA when it comes to meeting the airport’s energy demand. By virtue of the expansive nature of airport campuses, energy demand and CO2 emissions are major challenges for airport authorities. DAA has recognised this challenge and is committed to developing Dublin Airport as a hub of energy efficiency and clean energy. The airport is already Airport Carbon Accredited as part of a European airport carbon management certification programme that covers more than half of European air passenger traffic. Between 2008 and 2010, Dublin Airport succeeded in reducing its carbon footprint by 1,775 tonnes, which is equivalent to a 6.5 per cent reduction in carbon emissions under its control. In partnership with ESB, DAA intends to build on this performance and achieve even further energy savings and emission reductions, which will also benefit the travelling public through sustainable environmental performance and annual cost savings.

Unique Aspects/ Innovations As well as benefiting the two companies, this unique agreement will contribute to meeting the Government’s mandated EU Energy Targets. It will also help to showcase


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21/10/2014 10:40:59

Partner Profile ESB

Ireland’s leadership in cleantech and renewable technologies to the 20 million passengers who pass through Dublin Airport annually. ESB will work with DAA to explore innovative ways to manage and reduce energy demand at the airport and where appropriate, m​a​y look to trial new technologies in Ireland.

Team and Skill Sets Project teams from ESB and DAA will work closely to deliver the energy collaboration targets. The ESB project team is mainly comprised of engineers and project management specialists from the energy services team in Electric Ireland, and from ESB International, ESB’s engineering consultancy arm, who will be supported by experts from across the group. The DAA project is sponsored by the Group Head of Asset Care & Asset Management and will be implemented by the Energy Management team and Asset Care professionals.

Utilising a Best in Class Example Over the past decade, ESB has been leading the way in decarbonising Ireland’s electricity system.The company now sees an opportunity to leverage this experience beyond its core business to assist other organisations increase their energy efficiency and achieve cost and emission reductions. Both ESB and DAA have international consultancy businesses that will benefit from putting Dublin Airport on the map as an energy efficiency and clean energy reference site. ESB International provides a full range of engineering, operations and maintenance solutions and strategic consultancy services to the global energy market. DAA International puts its longstanding experience as an airport operator to work for institutional funds and infrastructural developers seeking to invest in airport assets. DAA International also works with

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ESB CEO Pat O’Doherty and DAA CEO Kevin Toland

airport clients and partners to provide customised solutions across a range of airport subject matter expertise. Both companies will assess the opportunity to promote and replicate the energy collaboration model internationally.

Engage in Energy Efficiency Measures A number of funding initiatives for energy efficiency projects have been launched this year. AIB has launched a €100 million fund for lending to SMEs to undertake energy efficiency projects and will take projected savings from energy efficiency measures into account when evaluating an applicant’s repayment

capacity. The Government has also launched the new €70 million National Energy Efficiency Fund with Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL) who will act as investment advisors to the fund. The fund is intended to catalyse the development of energy efficiency projects in the Irish market and enhance the level of finance available to public and commercial organisations to realise energy and cost savings opportunities. Electric Ireland’s Energy Services team is working with a wide range of SMEs and large industrial users to improve their energy efficiency to reduce cost and increase competitiveness.


21/10/2014 10:41:01

Partner Profile AIB

Bin Bags of Energy Waste Tackling energy bills can be seen as a key opportunity for business owners, energy efficiency solution suppliers and the finance community.


rish SMEs, especially Irish companies exporting their products overseas and competing with companies based in countries with lower energy costs, are feeling the pinch when it comes to rising energy prices. AIB’s research, contained in their Energy Efficiency Outlook report, shows that the average retailer spends a50,000 and the average manufacturer spends a114,000 per year respectively and energy prices are trending upwards. Accounting for an average of 11 per cent of a company’s operational costs, tackling energy bills can be seen as a key opportunity for business owners, energy efficiency solution suppliers and the finance community. For a long time, the industry has been aware of the potential, but to date that potential has failed to be unlocked. “If energy waste mounted up outside the back door of Irish businesses in black bin bags, like other more physical waste can, we would soon do something about it,” says Ray O’Neill, Head of Energy and Clean Technologies, AIB. “The issue is energy is intangible. We see it on the bill in terms of kilowatt hours but it’s hard to appreciate how much we are using and how much is wasted. The challenge the industry has is to make energy waste more evident, create awareness, showcase the solutions, make finance and incentives available and do so all in a cohesive way. We want businesses to see the wastage


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and to benefit, via their pockets, in cutting it out.”

In the SME’s Shoes The rubber hits the road when the utility bills come through the letter box. According to AIB’s market research, 33 per cent of SMEs claim they don’t understand their electricity bills while 45 per cent don’t understand their gas bills. With increased levels of competition within the energy provider market over the past five years, SMEs have expressed their sensitivity to cost by simply switching to a cheaper energy provider. This offers short term savings but is not a sustainable strategy for SMEs to reduce energy costs in the long term. Energy pricing can be volatile, subject to the global market, and pricing discounts can often disappear quite quickly. The shopping around approach crucially fails to tackle the fundamental issue of reducing consumption. “Alarmingly, SMEs who see that energy prices are hurting them can’t see how to avoid them in the long term,” explains O’Neill. “Instead of tackling the issue head on, SMEs consider increasing prices, reducing wages or operating hours which negatively impacts their ability to compete. This is not good for AIB, our customers or Ireland. Putting the business on an energy diet and reducing consumption is key. Parts of the energy diet do not require financial investment, some do. AIB is

in the business of financing the outlay in order for businesses to make the investment and get the energy bill down. We take the projected energy savings from an energy efficiency project into account when making our credit assessment. We want SMEs to focus on lifetime operating costs and go that little bit further to keep their operating costs under control.”

Financing Energy Savings Can Seem Counterintuitive The typical spend for SMEs taking on an energy efficiency project is in the region of a50,000, according to AIB’s research. Alternative options for SMEs are to fund the capital costs from their cash reserves or to seek finance. Many SMEs do not have the reserves or they have earmarked their available cash for other areas of the business. Also, demonstrating the repayment capacity to take on a new loan or lease can be difficult. AIB realised that for the majority of energy efficiency projects the savings are greater than the finance repayments. AIB’s Energy Efficiency Finance offering may be the solution. “We launched a a100 million fund late last year to support our Energy Efficiency Finance proposition,” says O’Neill. “Details are on our website ( and we are moving towards a pay-as-yousave model by taking the savings into account when assessing the repayment capacity of our SME customers.”

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:43:36

Partner Profile AIB

Level of Lending Activity With the support of local Chambers of Commerce and the SEAI, AIB has held 12 customer breakfast seminars around the country for over 750 SMEs. Additionally, AIB has trained more than 300 staff to handle energy efficiency finance queries in a bid to make customers aware of the benefits of taking time to understand their energy costs and help them discover ways of cutting their bills. The seminars and training are supporting an uplift in lending for energy efficiency projects around Ireland. O’Neill says: “We see a big shift in the retail sector with a significant number of retailers changing their lighting, installing energy efficient fridges and control systems to ensure customers are warm but the food stays cool. Most importantly, they are increasing their margins and protecting their businesses during periods of stagnant revenue. We also see some of the larger businesses in the hotel and manufacturing sector taking on significant retrofits.”

Currency of Energy Efficiency Credits Solution providers come in all shapes and sizes. Lately, we have seen the main energy suppliers become more involved in energy efficiency projects. This seems counterintuitive until you understand their motives. New legislation implemented earlier this year has created hard targets for energy suppliers in terms of reducing the energy consumption of business, residential and fuel-poor customers. The currency of energy credit is now starting to develop in the Irish market and energy efficiency projects can be supported by selling these credits to an energy supplier. To help the solution providers, Ireland needs two things. Firstly, regulation is required to protect against the importation of nonefficient, non-tested products. This will stop substandard products from entering the market and remove the temptation to purchase a cheap,

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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but ultimately expensive, alternative. Secondly, we need to start enforcing these higher standard requirements and provide an environment where quality suppliers, providing quality solutions, can thrive. Credibility in the market needs to be improved before the mass market will buy into the energy efficiency vision.

Funds in the Irish Market In addition to AIB’s a100m Energy Efficiency Fund, there is a a70m National Energy Efficiency Fund. The fund, to be managed by Sustainable Development Capital LLP, will seek to invest equity in energy efficiency projects across the commercial and

public sector. It recently signed its first deal worth a2m to retrofit lighting in a number of Tesco stores in Ireland. The fund, which is a combination of public and private funding, is another example of the growing number of sources of finance available for energy efficiency in Ireland. “It’s great that the National Energy Efficiency Fund is up and running. AIB’s offering is complementary to the equity the fund can provide. With this range of financial products we can get behind more projects and get the industry going,” concludes O’Neill. For more on AIB’s Energy Efficiency Outlook Report go to http://business.


20/10/2014 13:43:39

Partner Profile RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

Building Business Value David Holland, Senior Manager, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks tells InBUSINESS how a business owner considering the sale of their company can position themselves for an optimal transaction.


s we approach the last quarter of 2014, opportunities are emerging for business owners. There are, however, challenges associated with these opportunities. Many business owners have never sold a business before and while opportunities are emerging in the market, it takes time and careful planning to optimise the sale price from any such transaction.

Current Selling Environment The last five to six years have been very difficult for many business owners, having suffered declines in revenues and profits. Where growth was achieved it has been at a low level. Having navigated through a number of difficult trading years, which may have involved difficult decisions and corrective actions being taken, many business owners are now tired and may be ready to sell their business. Such a decision may have been deferred due to the recession and until such time as the market and general economic environment took a positive turn. Recent commentary and activity in the market would appear to indicate that we are turning the corner, albeit slowly. Similarly, those businesses without a clear succession plan involving the family or management team may now be considering a sale in the medium


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term in light of the recent positive activity in the market. The process of selling a business can be complex and is generally taking longer than it did historically. However, the pool of potential acquirers has grown significantly with the influx of international companies into Ireland seeking investment in, or acquisition of, Irish business with the potential for scalability and growth. In addition, a significant amount of new investment capital has become available over the last three years, the holders of which are now looking to deploy beyond the acquisition of distressed assets and loans into more strategic acquisitions by directly or indirectly supporting the acquisition of trading Irish businesses and assets. Due to a lack of familiarity with

Due to a lack of familiarity with the sale process and available opportunities, owners are often unprepared and can sometimes simply agree to sell to the first acquirer to make an approach, often for a lower value than could be achieved with proper preparation and research.” the sale process and available opportunities, owners are often unprepared and can sometimes simply agree to sell to the first acquirer to make an approach, often for a lower value than could be achieved with proper preparation and research. However, to successfully optimise business value and choose the right buyer, a business owner

must be patient and plan the process to complete a sale and transition the business to the new owner. The goal for business owners considering a sale is to position the business for an optimal transaction, by developing and implementing a plan that results in a rewarding sale.

Building Value in Your Business A key to increasing the value of your business is to understand how a potential buyer views your business. Many owners have an inflated view of the value of their business versus what the market might attach to it. This is why it is important for business owners to engage an objective advisor who can help you understand the market perception of your business, pinpoint the value drivers and ultimately increase the value of your company, and therefore sales price. Once you understand the value of the business, you can work on strategies and actions to increase the value. Key business value drivers include: • Trends in revenue growth • Product/service advantages and differentiation • Balanced and growing customer mix • Strength of sales pipeline • Market position or niche • Product and service margins favourable to industry • Strong management team that can transition to a new owner • Strength of management information systems (financial and operational) • Competitive barriers to entry • Improving profits and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:45:03

Partner Profile RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

David Holland, Senior Manager, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

Improvements to the value drivers of a business cannot be made overnight. Ideally a business owner should allow two to three years (but at least a year) to build incremental value in the business to a level that will maximise the proceeds from a sale transaction. This time can also be used to identify and correct various cosmetic issues to protect against lower offers during negotiation. The major areas of focus during this time include: • Estimating the current business value – knowing the true market value of your business well in advance of putting it up for sale • An awareness of other sale transactions in your specific industry/ market in which the business operates • Identifying key business value drivers and other items to increase the sale price • Implementing profit improvement programmes – cost reductions and efficiencies • Optimising procurement and strategic sourcing – achievement of cost savings by evaluating procurement and supply contracts

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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• Managing revenue expansion and gross profit margins • Ensure that all shareholders and the management team are supportive of, and invested in, the sale preparation efforts and are all working in the same direction to maximise the outcome • Performance of sell-side due diligence to address possible acquirer issues in advance and increase the chance of completing the sale. Company culture and existing customer relationships are also two critical areas which are often overlooked but can add value to a business. Employees and customers negatively perceive change but if the business is performing at a high level, it is unlikely that a new owner will make significant changes that cause disruption for either.

Maximising the Sales Proceeds By investing sufficient time focusing on value optimisation, the value of your business should increase in the eyes of potential acquirers. Understanding the value of your business and building on it should lead to a higher sales price and if the sales process has been

By investing sufficient time focusing on value optimisation, the value of your business should increase in the eyes of potential acquirers.” carefully followed, the incremental value will stand up under due diligence by the acquirer. Many business owners view their company as part of their family and sometimes the company even carries their name. They want their business to be in the right hands moving forward, while obtaining maximum value from the sale. If you are considering selling your business, the time to act is now, as you should allow sufficient time to prepare for a transaction to correct any issues and build incremental value in your business. Hiring an objective advisor is the key to assisting you to position your company for sale, initiate the process, set expectations and manage the major and minor areas that lead to a successful sale. For further information, please contact David at, or 01 418 2042.


20/10/2014 13:45:12

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17/10/2014 09:49:17

Partner Profile DHL Express Ireland

e-Commerce and the SME Gerard Biggins, DHL Express Ireland’s IT Director, looks at e-commerce trends and what they mean for the SME sector in Ireland.


recent study suggested that 150,000 new jobs could be created through the Irish Internet economy by 2020. These positions will be created as a direct result of the continuing uptake of broadband services and the overall digitalisation of society, industry and commerce. The value of Ireland’s Internet economy is forecast to grow from its current level of a8.4 billion a year to an estimated a21.1 billion by 2020, with consumer spending accounting for 60 per cent of this amount. Whilst large companies such as DHL have teams of technology experts working to ensure that we maximise sales and service through online activity, not surprisingly, smaller organisations are less well prepared. The fact is, whether you want your customer to easily find your physical location, or you are seeking to sell or promote your product online, you will need a strong e-commerce strategy to maximise your growth potential. This is just as true for an SME as it is for a multinational organisation. Right now around 25 per cent of Irish businesses do not have a website, let alone the ability to conduct transactions online. Many of these companies are missing out on the potential opportunities that growth in online activity could bring about. There is a belief among some SMEs that the costs associated with the development of digital tools and an

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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e-commerce strategy are simply too high. But this need not be the case, and the investment costs can often be recouped quite quickly through increased sales. The question some businesses need to ask is ‘can we afford not to go online?’

Some considerations for SMEs developing their e-commerce strategy • Understand your customers and potential customers and their online behaviours. • Research the different components of a digital landscape and prioritise what to focus on first, e.g. website, microsite, mobile apps, a social media presence etc. • Take small steps and review what works well – don’t try to do everything at once. • Develop a user-based strategy for aesthetics and selling online across different online tools. • Security and compliance integrity is key – don’t take risks or shortcuts in this area! • Consider peak traffic preparedness, including load testing. • Select a business partner to work with who can give you confidence. Typically they should have delivered successful e-commerce tools already.

E-commerce and the SME Supply Chain For DHL, the growth in e-commerce has revolutionised how we operate. Whilst e-commerce continues to offer the potential to grow volume, we must also continuously adapt our logistics solutions to meet the changing needs of the market. Some of the key things we focus on with

Gerard Biggins, DHL Express Ireland

our SME customers include developing digital solutions to support: Timed Deliveries: With the growth of home deliveries, making sure that delivery commitments are achieved is crucial for the success of an online sales strategy. For example, DHL now offers pre-notification alerts and texts on both the day and time of delivery. Managing a Returns Programme: Online retailers typically must provide a return option to consumers, often free of charge and within a certain timeframe. Customs: Shipments from outside the EU must be cleared through customs in Ireland and depending on the value and nature of the goods, duties and taxes may be payable. Computer systems: IT integration with e-commerce retailers often means integrating directly with a customer’s web page and order management system. Whilst e-commerce represents a huge opportunity for SMEs to grow, it also represents a challenge to develop the supporting logistics and supply chain solutions to support online sales. Many progressive Irish SMEs have demonstrated that it is a challenge worth taking on, as the growth opportunity is significant. For others, the clock is ticking and in many cases if they don’t respond to the online, challenge they will be left behind.


20/10/2014 13:46:23

iB Survey Volkswagen

Striving to Always Be Exceptional Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Brand Director Alan Bateson spoke to InBUSINESS about the company’s performance in 2014 and the benefits of their partnership with DHL.


s we enter the final quarter of 2014, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles can reflect on a golden year. As well as reaping the benefits of a successful partnership with DHL, they expect to have sold in excess of 3,000 units in 2014 – a 50 per cent increase from 2013, according to the company’s Commercial Vehicles Brand Director Alan Bateson. With their customercentered approach, the company looks well on track to see this year-on-year growth continue. The company has also reported positive results from its reformed van centre network. Having entered 2014 with a reduced network from the previous year, it now has 24 Volkswagen van centres which are specialists in delivering customer solutions, not simply commercial vehicles. “This focus on the customer and providing them with a onestop-shop for all their commercial vehicle needs is a passion of mine and something we want to further improve on over the next number of years,” says Bateson. Bateson attributes the significant increase in their sales in 2014 to two key factors. Firstly, owner operators, tradespeople and small companies are back in the market. In the past, they have been the people who select Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In fact, thus far in 2014 they have had no large fleet deliveries, and Bateson attributes their year-on-year increase to these regular customers. The second reason, he says, is down to their product: “We currently have the best financial product in the market and which no other competitor is offering. Volkswagen Bank can offer zero per


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Alan Bateson, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Brand Director

cent finance across our range and numerous flexible options to ensure it is a solution for the customer and not just a financial product. In 2014 we forecast that we will lend in excess

of w15 million to Irish businesses.” This is a 200 per cent increase on 2012 and according to Bateson, it is down to a great product and market-leading acceptance rates. InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:48:15

iB Survey Volkswagen

DHL Volkswagen Crafter Vans

A Perfect Fit In addition to seeing a significant increase in sales, 2013 saw Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the Crafter selected as the DHL van of choice. A total of 49 new vehicles were delivered by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to the brand in that year. Commenting on the deal, Bateson said: “We are delighted that DHL Express has selected the Crafter for their fleet. The Crafter’s durability, quality and efficient engines will deliver low running costs and great value for its business, while our van centres will ensure the best support and service is always available. The DHL Express fleet delivery is a great way of demonstrating the different uses of a Crafter, from panel van to chassis cab and the range of conversions we can offer our customers in Ireland,” he added. The vehicles are fitted with bulk head sliding doors, allowing the courier to access the cargo area without having to get out of the vehicle. Similarly, all vehicles have fitted foldable shelving, enabling the courier to sort the shipments in route order, and thus ensure that they are delivered in optimal condition. The shelving not only helps improve delivery productivity, but more importantly provides a better and safer working environment for drivers as they do not have to bend as much in the process of their job. Drawing a parallel between DHL’s ethos of ‘Excellence. Simply Delivered’ and Volkswagen’s motto ‘the Right Customer Solution, each time, every time’, Bateson explains why the Crafter was an ideal match for two of DHL’s main requirements – namely, to have a vehicle that would continue their InBusiness | Q3 2014

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industry-leading on-time performance while improving upon the safety and security features of their vehicles. “The Crafter therefore was a perfect fit, it is more efficient than previous models used by DHL and has a number of class-leading safety, security, load area, environmental features,” he says. The reduction in emissions from the Crafter will also contribute to DHL’s goal of improving their carbon efficiency by 30 per cent by 2020. Speaking about the partnership, Mike Farrell, DHL Express Operations Director, said: “The new vehicles will strengthen our existing fleet and are the perfect fit for our extensive network. By upgrading, now we can ensure continued on-time performance while improving upon the safety and security features of our vehicles.” Farrell added: “The reduction of carbon emissions through the low-emission Euro 5 engines also represents a significant improvement to our fleet.” However, the positive outcomes extend beyond the Volkswagen-DHL deal, too, with commercial vehicle sales and registrations up across the board. In addition, orders for vans and bigger working vehicles generally indicate a better underlying trend for the economy as a whole.

Customer Focus Bateson emphasises that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is focused on delivering a customer-centred service at all times – in both their partnership with DHL and in their day-to-day business. “Large companies like DHL are no different from individual commercial customers,” he says. “They select their vehicles

on experience, return on investment and a partnership that they can trust. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles understands that the power of this partnership is about reliability, keeping your costs down and delivering on promises every time, which is why providing solutions as opposed to vehicles is at the heart of everything we do. Also DHL needs to be mobile to ensure it delivers for its customers. The Crafter has shown this dependability in its first year of operation and both parties have an excellent working partnership.” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are now focused on closing out 2014 and preparing for 2015, with a clear ambition to the be the best provider of customer-orientated solutions for commercial vehicles in the Irish market. Bateson stresses that with their new network and customer-centred approach, they have huge ambitions for 2015 and beyond. “One clear focus for the team here in Dublin and our van centre network is the brand mission of always being exceptional,” he says. “If you look at companies that have been successful in business, 10 per cent have done this through new inventions, however, 90 per cent have done it through executing ordinary tasks exceptionally well. This is our focus: don’t over-promise and underperform, but do everything you can, exceptionally well every day and that is what will deliver sustainable growth for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Ireland.” With this ethos and an already impressive record under its belt, there can be no doubt that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will continue to impress.


20/10/2014 13:48:17

Carambola Kidz Foundation is the philanthropic/charitable arm of Carambola Kidz, IPPN preferred supplier of lunches to DEIS and Special Needs Schools. To ďŹ nd out more about Carambola Kidz Foundation, email with the subject title FOUNDATION or call 1850 812 300

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17/10/2014 09:49:54


Marks & Spencer, Winner of Outstanding Achievement in CSR

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20/10/2014 13:50:34

CSR Awards 2014


Boundaries Just under half of this year’s entries were by companies participating in the awards for the first time, highlighting just how quickly CSR is continuing to grow.

his time last year, we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. We spoke a lot at the time about how far CSR in Ireland has come in just ten short years. What is even more remarkable is how much can change in just one year. This year saw the awards once again set a new record for number of entrants. A closer look tells us that just under half of this year’s entries were by companies participating in the awards for the first time. This remarkable figure highlights just how quickly CSR continues to grow and why it is so important that these awards recognise the effort and dedication of these companies. It is not just the business community that has recognised the importance of CSR. Earlier this year, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation launched Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate 54

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Social Responsibility. Government has come to realise the important role that CSR can play in Ireland’s economic recovery. At the launch, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Increasingly, good CSR practices are distinguishing the best companies from their competitors. Customers and prospective employees are more conscious than ever of the ethical record of companies, how they source their products and the contribution they make to the local or national community. In this context, CSR practices that are embedded as a genuine part of a company’s values and operations can help enhance the company’s profile and competitiveness.” It is a sentiment with which John Cunningham, Chair of the CSR Awards judging panel, agrees. “Today’s consumers are not simply looking for



the best deals and quality products. Instead they seek to be more aware of the ethical, environmental, and community-friendly status of a business.” Companies of all shapes and sizes are gearing up and engaging in innovative CSR strategies that demonstrate their commitment to their stakeholders, local communities and the environment. The benefits of CSR projects are not just being realised by the larger companies with a bigger budget, but by

many SMEs as well. As Cunningham notes, “We are particularly proud to see a rise in the number of SME applications. This highlights the fact that our smaller companies are experiencing the tangible benefits that come from their CSR strategies.” “Every year, the judging gets tougher and tougher. Companies are continuously breaking boundaries and coming up with innovative approaches to CSR. We are always keen to dispel the myth that CSR is only InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:51:37

CSR Awards 2014

THE PILLARS OF CSR n COMMUNITY Community-based CSR projects, by their nature, are generally the most visible aspects of a company’s CSR activities. The projects depend on direct interaction between the company and the community, generating economic and social vibrancy in the locality. A company builds on this goodwill by using their grassroots knowledge of the issues facing those living in the surrounding area to deliver an effective community-focused CSR strategy. There are many different options open to a company that wants to engage in community-based CSR activities. Community is an always expanding area of CSR, evident in the fact that in recent years we had to divide the community category into three strands – charity, volunteering and community programmes. Community CSR can range from sponsoring a local sports team, fundraising for charity or sharing the skills of your employees with the community. n ENVIRONMENT Environmental and sustainability concerns have been at the forefront of public thinking in recent years. There is a growing awareness of the need to implement policies which enable sustainable development. Environment-based CSR projects go beyond the legislative obligations and promote greener economic growth. These projects may not garner the same amount of publicity as those with a community focus, however, many SMEs find they provide substantial financial benefits as well as improving the firm’s image as an environmentally-aware company. n MARKETPLACE Marketplace CSR involves both a company’s customers and its suppliers. These types of projects are usually away from the public eye but show the willingness of companies to go above and beyond the call of duty when dealing with their stakeholders. Companies have an interest in ensuring that their suppliers provide adequate pay and working conditions, conduct their business in a transparent manner and implement sustainable working practices. For customers, it is important for companies to implement responsible sales and marketing policies and to train their staff on how these policies can be achieved. Marketplace CSR helps businesses to nurture a corporate culture that values the needs, expectations and diversity of its customers.

for big companies with big budgets. It is often the simplest project that catches the judge’s eye. What is important for companies to remember is that a CSR strategy must be something close to the company’s own values and can often be delivered at little or no cost. In fact, if you’re lucky, a CSR strategy might even save money! “I want to commend not only those on the shortlist but all companies that have embraced CSR practices. The type of InBusiness | Q3 2014

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dedication and passion that companies display through their CSR policies is vital to Ireland as we seek to build on our recovery. Strong CSR practices help to attract customers and employees and will help distinguish Ireland as a great place to do business. “We are proud to celebrate and commend the CSR achievements of the Irish business community and we look forward to seeing future developments in the years to come.”

n WORKPLACE Employees provide the know-how, productivity, customer service and creativity necessary for businesses to thrive. Employers should seek to put in place policies that promote the retention and development of their staff and nurture workplace environments that will attract recruits of the highest calibre. Workplace CSR programmes can affect many different areas of a company’s HR policy such as health and safety, work-life balance of employees, staff diversity and cultural awareness. A healthy balance between the work and non-work aspects of employees’ lives is essential in order to avoid burn out and create a positive and productive working environment. n COMMUNICATION In recent times, communication of CSR initiatives has become more important. While many companies around the country have cross-pillar CSR policies in place, many of their activities may not be known to their wider stakeholders. Effectively communicating their CSR initiatives gives companies the chance to get across their way of thinking and highlight the excellent work they are doing in various areas of CSR.


20/10/2014 13:51:38




N E W S E A S O N’S BOLD BRIGHTS Abstract colour blocking and reworked graphic effects give Autumn a dynamic new direction. A touch of cashmere adds luxury to our season’s must have bold colour coat.

Selected stores and Subject to availability. © Marks and Spencer (IRL) Ltd.

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17/10/2014 09:51:08

CSR Awards Winners 2014

Best in Class CSR The eleventh Chambers Ireland CSR Awards showed how companies and their employees continue to get ever more creative to run their businesses in a sustainable and responsible way.


arks and Spencer Ireland won the Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award at the 2014 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards, held in Dublin on 18th September. The judging panel selected Marks and Spencer Ireland for the sustained excellence of their CSR programmes. The eleventh annual Awards were partnered by Business in the Community Ireland, run in association with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and kindly sponsored by BAM Group Ireland and the Environmental Protection Agency. Each winner was presented with a specially

commissioned trophy designed by Tipperary Crystal. Speaking at the event, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, said: “Every year we need to come up with new superlatives to describe the dedication and commitment shown by Irish businesses as they embrace CSR. Companies and their employees continue to get ever more creative to run their businesses in a sustainable way and consider their impact on the local community, the environment and their stakeholders. We are privileged to have the opportunity to recognise the best Irish companies have to offer as they embrace CSR.”

Other awards presented on the night Excellence in International CSR n Arthur Cox The Zambia Project Excellence in Environment – LIC Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency n ESB - Ardnacrusha Station Sustainable Generation Initiative Excellence in Environment – MNC (Joint Winners) Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency n AbbVie Ireland - AbbVie Ireland Operations Reducing, Reusing and Recycling n Abbott Ireland - Abbott Ireland’s Waste, Water & Energy Programme (2009-2013) Excellence in CSR by an SME n The Carmabola Ltd - Carambola Kidz Foundation-sponsored Library at St Thomas’ SNS, Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin Excellence in CSR Communication n Intel - Stakeholder Communications project

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Excellence in Community Volunteering - LIC n A&L Goodbody Volunteering for Step Up – A&L Goodbody’s Community Programme Excellence in Community Volunteering - MNC n Oracle - Leadership in Society (LIS) Excellence in Workplace - LIC n ESB - Positive Mental Health Promotion among ESB Staff Excellence in Workplace - MNC n Enterprise Rent-A-Car Enterprise Founding Values – Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Excellence in Community Partnership with Charity - LIC n eircom - eircom & Special Olympics Ireland (SOI) The Partnership

n Lidl Ireland - Lidl and Crosscare – Partnering to create Ireland’s first structured food donation programme

Excellence in Community Partnership with Charity - MNC

n Abbott Ireland - Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home programme

InBusiness | Q3 2014

n Citi - Access Outreach Programmes at UCD Access Centre and DCU Access Office

Excellence in Community - Community Programme - LIC

Excellence in Marketplace CSR

Marks & Spencer, Winner of Outstanding Achievement in CSR

Excellence in Community - Community Programme - MNC

n Vodafone - Vodafone Ireland & Young Social Innovators ‘Go Do’ Partnership

*LIC: Large Indigenous Company | *MNC: Multinational Company


20/10/2014 13:53:13

CSR Profile Marks & Spencer

No Plan B Needed at M&S Marks & Spencer has shifted its thinking, from improving today’s business model to imagining what a very different, truly sustainable M&S might look like in the future.


arks & Spencer launched its CSR Strategy – called Plan A – in January 2007, setting out 100 commitments to achieve in five years to reduce the social and environmental footprint of its business. In 2010, M&S entered a second phase with 80 new commitments and the business has now introduced Plan A 2020 which consists of 100 new, revised and existing commitments, with the ultimate goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer. Through Plan A, M&S is working with its suppliers and employees to inspire its customers, be in touch with the communities it depends on to succeed, innovate to improve things for the better and act with integrity. Commenting on the strategy, Mike Barry, Director of Plan A said: “Plan A 2020 is seeing us shift our thinking, from improving today’s business model to imagining what a very different, truly sustainable M&S might look like in the future. We cannot yet define fully what this sustainable model will look like but one thing we do know is that we cannot shift from today’s business model


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to tomorrow’s without the full engagement of the vast majority of our millions of customers, 86,000 employees and thousands of suppliers across the UK, Ireland and internationally. Plan A 2020 retains the best bits of what we’ve done before. It is a business plan, focused as much on customer, employee and supplier engagement as on what we do and how we do it. By aligning social and environmental outcomes with our business goals in this way we believe we can deliver greater value for all and achieve our goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer.” Plan A is seen as a global framework but

with local application. In Ireland, there is a ‘Plan A Champion’ in each of the 17 stores. Their role is to ensure stores are consistently lowering energy and water use as well as engaging with colleagues and customers to drive the success of Plan A initiatives. The Plan A Champions receive weekly training and monthly international conference calls to update them on the latest M&S CSR campaigns. All M&S stores, offices and warehouses in Ireland are certified as carbon neutral and M&S was the first major retailer to achieve this. They were also the first retailer to be certified by the Carbon

Trust Standard for carbon, water and waste reductions. M&S was the first retailer to achieve zero waste to landfill and has continued to lead the way with award winning initiatives which educate customers about the environmental benefits of recycling while generating charitable fund at the same time. One of the main ways M&S employees gives back to the public is that every single employee is allocated one working day a year to volunteer themselves and their skills to a community project they want to be part of. In Ireland, M&S has a number of key charity partnerships.

M&S trucks have reduced fuel emissions through Plan A

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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CSR Profile Marks & Spencer

Business in the Community Ireland M&S has been a lead member of Business in the Community Ireland, the Network for Responsible Business, since 2000 and is a lead supporter of the BITCI Ready4Work Programme, modelled on M&S Marks & Start programme in the UK. This programme supports those with high barriers to employment, particularly the homeless, to gain and sustain employment. Since 2002, 184 out of 468 participants (39 per cent) were offered work experience placements with M&S. M&S has also been the lead sponsor of the BITCI Schools Business Partnership since 2001 and in so doing has been instrumental in inspiring the business community as a whole, as there are now 192 schools matched with a business across the length and breadth of Ireland. BITCI believe this would

not have been possible without Marks & Spencer Ireland’s leadership role. For the Schools Business Partnership as a whole, 22,777 students have participated to date in the Skills@Work Programme; 2,064 students have participated in the Student Mentoring Programme; 715 principals to date have availed of Management Excellence for Principals Programme. Ireland now leads Europe on businesseducation engagement. Not only has M&S Ireland been a lead sponsor of the Schools Business Partnership, it is also itself in partnership with six schools throughout the country.

The Marie Keating Foundation

Building charity partnerships with shared value is a key part of Plan A and in turn helps M&S customers to make a difference on the social and environmental causes that matter to them. Marks & Spencer Ireland has had a long standing partnership with the Marie Keating Foundation since 2002. Over the 12 years, M&S employees and customers have raised more than a1.5 million Ronan and Linda Keating pictured at the for the launch of the the M&S Summer Berries Foundation campaign partnered with Irish fruit to help people supplier Keelings, in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation. across Ireland InBusiness | Q3 2014

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M&S trays in which they sell apples are now made from recycled paper pulp rather than polystyrene. They can now be recycled or composted in your garden.

who are touched by cancer. Fundraising activities have included an innovative initiative in 2013, whereby M&S partnered with its Irish fruit supplier, Keelings, and for every packet of Keelings Irish Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries and Blackberries sold, M&S donated 20c to the Marie Keating Foundation. The promotion saw a 40 per cent uplift in sales, enabling M&S to sell more locally sourced products with well recognised health benefits and ultimately raise more money for the Foundation. Other fundraising initiatives have included a 24-hour cycle relay, coffee mornings in M&S Cafés, coin boxes at tills, as well as sponsorship of the Marie Keating Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic.

Oxfam Ireland M&S knows that customers want to live more sustainable lifestyles and are looking to businesses such as M&S to help make it easy. The best example of this is ‘shwopping’, whereby customers have become increasingly aware of the volume of textiles going to landfill each year

and asked M&S could they re-use these materials to make new garments. The Shwopping Scheme, which started in 2012, has engaged thousands of M&S customers to Shwop millions of items of clothing. Where possible these clothes have been donated to Oxfam Ireland to be resold and any items that couldn’t be resold have been reused or recycled. M&S Plan A is about going beyond compliance. M&S engages customers, drives innovation and works with wider stakeholders to change the industry. Plan A isn’t a one-off promotional product or programme, it is part of how M&S does business and therefore is embedded in every corner of the organisation. Plan A 2020 is a business plan, focused as much on customer, employee and supplier engagement as on what M&S does and how it does it. By aligning social and environmental outcomes with its business goals in this way, M&S believes it can deliver greater value for all and achieve its goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer.


20/10/2014 13:54:12

CSR Profile Abbott

Double award win for Abbott Abbott secured the award for Excellence in Environment while the company’s Hospital to Home programme was honoured with an Excellence in Marketplace CSR award.


bbott demonstrates a deep commitment to minimising its impact on the environment through its Waste, Water & Energy Programme (2009-2013), which earned it this year’s CSR Award for Excellence in Environment (Multinational Company). Ireland is a major manufacturing base for the company, with six sites across the country. The Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) teams across Abbott’s sites initiate and lead projects that positively impact business and communities, understanding the environment is the basis for health, wellbeing and the economy.

Waste, Water & Energy Reduction Programme Abbott closely manages waste management. By 2013 all six manufacturing sites in Ireland had achieved Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWL) status. Abbott Ireland has succeeded in diverting all manufacturing operations non-hazardous waste from landfill disposal, thereby supporting Abbott’s global goal to be a leader in product


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lifecycle environmental management. Abbott also has improved water conservation and recycling across its operations. Some

sites changed cooling towers, introduced rain water harvesting and undertook leak surveys. Water usage has dropped by nearly 20 per cent across

all Abbott’s manufacturing sites in Ireland. Abbott’s Donegal site has achieved a 73 per cent reduction in water usage relative to manufacturing

Excellence in Environment Excellence in Marketplace CSR Abbott is honoured to have received both these awards in recognition of our commitment to responsible and sustainable business. The Environment award is a tribute to all Abbott employees across our sites in Ireland; their efforts ensure that safeguarding the environment is part of our everyday work. The Hospital to Home programme has been helping patients and healthcare professionals for a number of years. It’s a strong example of how we apply our expertise, products and business to make a positive impact in improving the health and potential of people across Ireland. Ger Cronin – Divisional Vice President and Chair of the Business Advisory Council, Ireland

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 17:49:31

CSR Profile Abbott

output and Abbott’s Cootehill site recycles 100 per cent of the water used at the facility and recovers all steam generated from the manufacturing process. After the process of milk evaporation for its nutrition products, it produces steam, which cools into a condensate, treated in a wastewater treatment plant and discharged back into the Dromore River – cleaner than before. Abbott’s EHS teams have also led innovative energy projects to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Abbott’s Longford site reduced CO2 emitted by 25 per cent and Abbott’s Sligo site reduced CO2 emissions by 26 per cent. Abbott’s Cootehill facility switched from diesel oil to natural gas, resulting in a 22 per cent CO2 emission reduction; and Abbott’s Sligo site upgraded the chilled water system which led to an annual reduction of 500 tonnes in CO2 emissions. Globally Abbott has three environmental goals for 2020 (all adjusted for sales): • 40 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions • 30 per cent reduction in total water intake • 50 per cent reduction in total waste generated Abbott has significantly reduced its carbon footprint and water footprint in Ireland, and continues to work to ensure environmental considerations are fully integrated into day-to-day planning and business processes. By integrating InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Fiona Burke and Bindu Nair, Abbott Nutrition Ireland, accepting the Excellence in Marketplace award from Ian Talbot, CEO of Chambers Ireland and Minister Alan Kelly, TD.

best environmental management practices into its core business, Abbott enhances the health, prosperity and quality of life in the communities it serves.

Hospital to Home service In recent years, Abbott’s nutrition business has continually expanded and improved its Hospital to Home programme to meet the evolving needs of patients, health care professionals and hospitals. This free service offers comprehensive education and support services to support the transition of tube-fed, vulnerable patients from hospital back to the community. Abbott provides pumps and starter packs of nutrition for seven days free of charge to ensure that the patients receive critically needed products as they wait for funding approval from the HSE. In 2013 the programme spent more than 740 hours training patients in the community at no

cost to the patient or the HSE. As travelling internationally has proven to be a significant obstacle for tubefed patients, the programme’s holiday service provides delivery of nutrition products, free of charge globally. In addition, administrative support ensures HSE staff have more time for frontline services in an extremely busy hospital setting. Annually the programme has provided 300 sessions of pump training and education; 390 hours of administration support, such as funding details, writing letters and registration; and more than 350 follow-up calls to patients have been made to ensure proper care. Abbott strives to provide excellent service for patients, HCPs and hospitals, and feedback demonstrates significant results: 99 per cent of respondents noted that the Hospital to Home service was good or very good in recent research. The company has a proud history of collaborating with

healthcare professionals and patient associations. By building sustainable relationships, Abbott works toward advancing dialogue around healthcare issues, and seeks ways to ensure optimal delivery of healthcare through partnership. The Abbott Hospital to Home service focuses on patient needs and safety. It educates, supports and empowers patients by working in partnership with health organisations and funding programmes. Enhancing access for patients and consumers is a fundamental strategic priority for Abbott in Ireland and around the world. The Abbott Hospital to Home support service is a key initiative that emphasises Abbott’s dedication to supporting patients and easing the transition of patients returning home from hospital, which earns it this year’s Award for Excellence in Marketplace CSR.


20/10/2014 13:55:00

CSR Profile DCU

Investing in Ireland’s Future Skills Needs Citi’s work with DCU has proved to be a winning collaboration.


here was much cause for celebration by DCU when Citi won a Chambers Ireland Excellence in Community award on the evening of September 18th. Citi scooped the award based on their extensive volunteering programme by Citi employees and for the investment and support by Citi Foundation in the creation and delivery of outreach initiatives with DCU Access Service, DCU School of Education and UCD’s New Era Programme. Citi’s initiatives are aimed at enhancing progression to higher education for students from areas experiencing high levels of social and economic disadvantage, currently underrepresented in third level education. According to Ita Tobin, Head of the DCU Access Service, “not only did the award give well deserved recognition to Citi Foundation and Citi employees for their outstanding contribution to young students from some of Ireland’s most marginalised communities, but it also served to highlight just how much can be achieved through successful collaboration by public and private partnership. Most importantly, it highlights the invaluable role and


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the unique contribution which the corporate world can make in tackling educational disadvantage in Ireland.”

The Argument for Corporate Support in Higher Education

remain largely disengaged. A case in point is a number of Dublin communities, where for example, 15 per cent of students in Dublin 17 will progress to third level this year, compared to 99 per cent in Dublin 6. For Tobin, in her role as head of DCU’s Access Service, corporate partnerships, such as that with Citi, have played an invaluable role in engaging with local communities.

private sponsorship, DCU Access currently offers educational programmes to over 10,000 primary and second level students per year. The university also provides a further 800 scholarships to undergraduate students from all over Ireland to study at DCU. “Without support from private industry we simply would not be in a position to provide the scale of financial, academic, personal and developmental supports required to help students from targeted communities progress to third level,” says Tobin. The figures are testament to the value and undeniable difference which DCU’s Access Programme has made to Access students. Over the last 24 years of Access at DCU, 93 per cent of Access students who entered DCU at

This innovative partnership between Citi and DCU also serves to highlight an area of critical concern for Ireland’s future economic growth – the importance of engaging DCU – Making a current untapped potential Difference of entire communities who DCU established Ireland’s do not progress to higher first University Access education in Ireland. This Service in 1989. The argument is based not success of the Access solely on a need for social Programme over the last justice but on a very real 24 years is clear evidence economic imperative. of how public and private partnership can make a A plethora of recent real difference on issues of Government reports have key national importance. emphasised the need for increased levels of highly Through a combination skilled graduates in Ireland of public funding with in order to achieve economic growth. However, an increase in graduate numbers is less likely when many of Ireland’s more affluent socio-economic groups have participation rates nearing saturation, while some communities in Paul King and Yvonne Crotty - School of Education, DCU with Tara O’Reilly, PR Manager, Citi and Ita Tobin and Claire Whelehan, DCU. less well-off areas

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:55:53

CSR Profile DCU

undergraduate level completed their studies; 92 per cent of Access students graduated with an honours degree and 86 per cent have gone into employment directly related to their area of study. However, the personal stories of students who progressed through the service speaks volumes. “The Access service provided constant support to me throughout my college years and I am truly grateful for this. Not only did the financial aid help me greatly but offering grinds to students is of massive benefit and helped me pass modules in 1st and 2nd year.” Final Year Student, Accounting and Finance, 2014 “Because of Access, I’ll be graduating with a top degree. College wouldn’t have happened only for Access.” Graduate of B.Sc in Financial and Actuarial Mathematics, 2014 “I know without your help I wouldn’t have made it into university let alone my final year. Without Access it just wouldn’t have been possible.” Final Year Student, B.Eng in Electronic Engineering, 2014

UniTY of Purpose Another unique example of the educationbusiness collaboration with DCU Access is the recently launched UniTY programme. Described as a four-way partnership between DCU, second level schools, the corporate sector and community organisations, the initiative has been formulated to provide “transformative educational opportunities” for students within InBusiness | Q3 2014

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neighbourhoods identified as experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage. Targeting Transition Year (TY) students, the yearlong programme offers a tantalising array of life and educational subjects - leadership, critical thinking, programming, problem solving, multimedia (animation, gaming and app design) and robotics, in addition to entrepreneurship, social innovation and careers. Career guidance and Continuing Professional Development are central aspects of the programme, with a view to progressing students through to further education/third level education. Another key aim is to provide students with a positive insight into the corporate world. Not overlooking key stakeholders in the education sectors, teachers are also catered for by UniTY, being offered intensive training throughout the year from DCU staff. The list of DCU departments and the numbers of DCU staff involved in the delivery of the UniTY Programme is impressive, but, as Tobin points out, the corporate backing is “essential” for programmes such as UniTY. “Without entities such as Citi these programmes would not be possible,” says Claire Whelehan, Senior Development Executive at DCU Educational Trust. The DCU Trust is the fundraising arm of DCU which engages with corporate and private donors across a number of key projects for DCU, including Access. According

Second level participants from North Dublin with DCU Access mentors and staff, taking part in the Unity Programme.

to Whelehan, “much of the high-value work undertaken across the education sector simply would not get DCU Undergraduate Mentor providing IT Training to second level students on done without Citi Programme. philanthropic support.” their third level dream. Willing corporate bodies Separately, new corporate are not confined to the representatives capable and financial end of matters, willing to participate in Tobin points out, but workshops and offer guest provide a wide range of lectures are invited to get support. For example, involved. There is also scope with regard to UniTY, for the corporate sector “TY students are given the to offer targeted support opportunity to do work in the form of privately placements with corporate funded scholarships for supporters over a period of those students progressing weeks. This is of particular to university. value to students who do not otherwise have Tobin views this in a access to such networks term understood by the in the working world.” business world; a sureSuch work placements fire investment. “This is to date have included not a question of lack of the areas of technology, ability,” she says of DCU pharmaceutical, financial Access students. “There is services, engineering and so much talent out there to communications. be tapped. DCU’s Access programmes demonstrate The work of DCU that if opportunities are Access continues apace. offered, they are seized Today the university is with both hands.” actively looking to match the volume of prospective For more on the DCU students with more Access Service you can organisations willing visit or to offer placements to contact the service directly Transition Year students on 01 700 5493. as they progress towards


20/10/2014 13:55:55

CSR Profile eircom Group

Building on a Special Partnership As eircom approaches a 30 year milestone of its relationship with Special Olympics Ireland next year, we spoke to eircom’s Carolan Lennon about the benefits of this special partnership.


arolan Lennon, Managing Director of eircom Wholesale, has recently assumed eircom Group responsibility for the development and the implementation of eircom’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. This is not simply an additional role for a busy woman – Lennon has a genuine passion for CSR and fundamentally believes it is important that companies have a clear, meaningful and coherent CSR strategy, delivered by a clear activation plan. This is not just pragmatism on Lennon’s part – although, the eternal pragmatist, she is convinced that in today’s highly competitive business climate, genuine and engaging CSR is something that can set a company apart. Her view is that while CSR has become something that all stakeholders expect, more importantly having the right CSR strategy that fits the organisation and its values can have a hugely positive impact on a company’s staff – not to mention customers – and this is what she has seen for herself in eircom over the last 12 months. For Lennon, putting a large focus on having a


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positive impact on society and supporting good causes ensures that eircom plays a strong role in being a good corporate citizen. Lennon has immense experience in CSR: before joining eircom she served on the board of the Vodafone Ireland Foundation and is currently a member of the Council of Patrons for Special Olympics Ireland. She has led eircom’s relentless drive to achieve unprecedented support for Special Olympics Ireland over the last year. She believes more could, and should, be done and is actively recruiting a CSR manager to support her in developing eircom’s CSR strategy to reach the level of ambition she believes eircom has. eircom’s CSR strategy really fits the organisation – whose job is enabling and facilitating people to do things better and live their lives as easily and simply as possible. eircom is about helping people to connect, using eircom technology in their homes, businesses and communities, and making their lives easier in the process. From a CSR perspective, the central tenet to any initiative eircom is involved in is enabling people to be the best that they can be and to reach their true potential.

And everything within the eircom CSR strategy has the Special Olympics Ireland ethos at its core – their very essence is about helping people realise their potential – so it is the perfect fit. eircom’s relationship with Special Olympics Ireland has been the main focus of the Group’s CSR strategy and, in the last 29 years, eircom’s financial commitment alone has been in the region of d15 million. However, in the last 18 months eircom has also actively supported Dress for Success - an organisation that helps women from disadvantaged areas get back into the workforce. This project is aligned with eircom’s core strategy to help people fulfil their potential and be the best they can be. They hope that the relationship will grow and strengthen in the same way as eircom’s relationship did with Special Olympics Ireland. Commenting on the relationship with Special Olympics Ireland, Lennon said: “Despite the economic backdrop and huge commercial challenges over the last number of years, our relationship with Special Olympics Ireland has remained steadfast, as has our commitment - at a time when all companies

Carolan Lennon

are under pressure to curtail or postpone charitable giving. The longevity of the partnership with Special Olympics - and the commitment on both sides - has ensured that this unique relationship between two Irish organisations is stronger than ever.” As they approach the 30 year milestone of their relationship next year, Carolan said: “2014 marks the 29th year of our partnership with Special Olympics Ireland – the longest running charitable partnership in Ireland. It is a relationship that has grown beyond all recognition developed, strengthened and changed with the times. Approaching our 30 year milestone, the relationship between us has never been InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:56:46

CSR Profile eircom Group

stronger. It’s a strategic, long term commitment that is delivering tangible benefits, with activity and results increasing year-on-year. Management and staff of both organisations work seamlessly together every day, in the background, with one clear aim: helping Special Olympics Ireland achieve its mission - by enabling everyone with an intellectual disability in Ireland to participate in a sport of their choice.” Matt English, Managing Director of Special Olympics Ireland, said: “eircom’s long term commitment has been crucial in helping our development. We know we can rely on eircom, thanks to our rolling four-year contracts, which match Special Olympics Ireland’s four-year Olympic cycle, and enable us to think strategically, plan and implement a long-term, cohesive strategy. We simply couldn’t have done what we have without eircom’s unwavering commitment. Our partnership means we can plan - knowing we have the resources and support to deliver our strategy something quite unique for any charity in Ireland, especially these days”. At its simplest, eircom supports Special Olympics Ireland in four principal ways; in a partnership that delivers national awareness and fundraising: n an annual financial contribution n technological support (in 1985 that was about landlines; today it’s about mobiles, high speed broadband, web support) n marketing support for InBusiness | Q3 2014

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eircom are sponsors of The Great Limerck Run

initiatives throughout the year n employee engagement and volunteering eircom has the skills and the technology to help raise awareness of Special Olympic Ireland’s role and remit and carry out that role in the most efficient and costeffective way, to maximise fundraising and call for volunteers countrywide. Special Olympics Ireland is committed to delivering services to athletes in its clubs all around the country, increasing its reach and athlete participation and developing activities for anyone with an intellectual disability. eircom helps Special Olympics Ireland do just that; providing financial support and encouraging and facilitating staff participation in volunteering

and fundraising. The company also offers practical assistance through technological and logistics advice and support from eircom’s experts on the ground.

Is it working? According to Lennon, “most people don’t realise that Special Olympics Ireland is the strongest Special Olympics organisation in the world – something we should all be very proud of. We have significantly higher participation in Ireland, at 30 per cent, than any other country, which is remarkable. “We know that our partnership benefits Special Olympics Ireland in many practical ways, including enhanced communication. People also don’t realise the scale of Special Olympics Ireland or its number of

stakeholders: 9,355 athletes; 26,457 volunteers; 385 clubs, and 9,000 registered family members – not to mention supporters, media and the public. Our technology enables Special Olympics Ireland communicate effectively and efficiently - through the provision of high speed broadband, mobile phones, web support and by spreading the word, through eircom public awareness campaigns, customer bills, social media and through eircom’s employee base”. Lennon is convinced there are huge benefits for eircom too - as some 250 people from eircom got involved in a whole host of initiatives this year. “Like all successful partnerships”, Carolan concluded, “this works for both sides and together we are stronger.”

Excellence in the Community – Partnership with Charity We are absolutely delighted to win the Excellence in Community Award through our partnership with Special Olympics Ireland. eircom employees are enormously proud of this partnership and the work in enabling everyone with an intellectual disability to enrich their lives through sport. In 2015 eircom will mark its 30th year supporting Special Olympics Ireland – the longest such charitable partnership in Ireland - and we look forward to cheering on Team Ireland as they participate in the World Games in Los Angeles. Carolan Lennon, Managing Director of eircom Wholesale


20/10/2014 13:56:47

CSR Profile ESB

Building for Future Generations ESB’s CSR approach encompasses good mental health promotion and environmental considerations.


n 2013, ESB set out its second sustainability strategy which addressed all aspects of sustainability and corporate responsibility under five priority headings: • To lead the development of smart networks and to facilitate the integration of renewable generation into our distribution networks; • To build a low carbon generation and supply business of scale, as we move to a low carbon economy; •T  o engage with our employees to enhance performance and with our customers, suppliers and the community as part of our broader responsibilities to society; •T  o improve business processes, deliver cost savings and use our resources in a cost efficient manner; •T  o develop new lowcarbon business opportunities as a source of competitive advantage towards 2050.

ESB believes that access to reliable, value for money energy which is produced in a sustainable manner will continue to be a key enabler of continuing social and economic development, for individuals, communities and for society. ESB also remains committed to sustaining an agile and engaged workforce over the long-term.

Sustainable Future As part of this belief, the Ardnacrusha Station Sustainable Generation Initiative has seen an increase in output trading to 99.3 per cent. In the past, up to seven per cent of the output from Ardnacrusha could not be traded in the SEM (Single Electricity Market), with the result that ESB was failing to maximise the amount of renewable energy it could sell – replacing this with conventional, fossil-fuel intensive generation. The system to facilitate this

As a direct result of this initiative, Ardnacrusha now uses three-quarters of a million litres less of water from the Shannon river in generating each mega-watt hour. 66

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increase in trading was developed in house at ESB, and now the station runs at maximum load over 90 per cent of the time; prior to this initiative the units were running at a minimum load of 50-60 per cent of the time. ESB staff from our Generation and Wholesale markets business units worked on identification, planning, execution and bedding-in of our new system in cooperation with trading and plant operations staff and management. The design and testing of the algorithms and the collaboration of ESB trading with Eirgrid to allow this change took many months. Eirgrid were very accommodating to testing and the new initiative. The effective operation of the system requires continuing input from staff in the station and the EMC (and there is more ongoing effort and attention required than was needed to operate under the old system). This work is being undertaken because of the very tangible and impressive nature of the environmental benefits being delivered. Staff can see the impact of the initiative and are encouraged by the very positive feedback they are

receiving from throughout the company about the success of their endeavours. As a direct result of this initiative, Ardnacrusha now uses three-quarters of a million litres less of water from the Shannon river in generating each mega-watt hour. While the station normally runs at full capacity during the winter months, the effects are felt the most between April and October, with a 4.5 per cent efficiency increase in water usage – an additional 3,000 to 4,000 mega-watt hours can be generated during these months, from the same volume of water. This offsets Ireland’s CO2 emissions by 2,000 tonnes per year – enough energy to supply 600-800 urban domestic houses with sustainable energy for a year. A number of stakeholders benefit directly from this initiative: • Workplace – staff directly involved in the development of the initiative have been profiled throughout the company and their achievements have been acknowledged and celebrated. • Marketplace – the improvements in generation efficiency made possible by the initiative are having InBusiness | Q3 2014

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CSR Profile ESB

a positive impact on Ireland’s CO2 emissions profile. • Community / Environment – the 4.5 per cent increase in the efficiency in our water usage in the station has a direct impact on our intake from the river Shannon, with consequent positive results in respect of river sustainability and water management for the wider east Clare community. With more energy being generated from the same quantity of water over spring / summer this alone gives enough energy to power 600 domestic homes for one year.

Supporting People A key element of ESB’s strategy is also our commitment to developing and supporting our people. Our focus on health (including mental health) and wellbeing is a key element of this policy. Positive mental health promotion among staff is a key priority for the health and wellbeing team within ESB. To that end a range of supports have been developed to encourage self-awareness, develop coping strategies and where necessary, provide access to more acute intervention routes. ESB has recently introduced new elements to its range of support for staff concerned about personal mental health issues or about issues with friends and colleagues – the Mind Ur Buddy Programme, the Mental and Financial Health Seminar series and a confidential counselling service for staff, available on InBusiness | Q3 2014

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a 24/7 basis. Initially, a team of 11 staff were trained as contact points as part of the initial Mind Ur Buddy pilot. In 2014, as a result of the success of the pilot programme this has been extended to include an additional nine staff. To date 1,200 staff have attended the Mental and Financial Health Seminars, in locations across the country. Managers working throughout the company are aware of the various supports and initiatives and know how to access them, in direct support of their own staff and in terms of facilitating broader conversations about work/life balance, dealing with stress and positive mental health. Staff are invited to seminars as they are scheduled in each location. They are also profiled through our internal communications channels (company newsletter, intranet site and local briefings). At each session, leaflets outlining key messages and explaining how to access support are

Positive mental health promotion among staff is a key priority for the health and wellbeing team within ESB. distributed to attendees (these are also generally available). The Mind Ur Buddy Programme is a regular briefing item and information on how to access the service is communicated locally, in the locations where the contact people are based. The confidential counselling service is being widely publicised throughout the company and the context within which it is being offered to staff is also being explained. The initiative has been very positively received by ESB staff. Our 2013 company-wide staff survey indicates that staff believe that the company and their manager are committed to their health and wellbeing, with 77 per cent responding positively to the question about company commitment to proactivity in this area. Our ambition

is to create a culture where our staff feel supported in discussing mental health issues and are aware of their own capacity to protect positive mental health and seek support should they require it. The Confidential Counselling Service is being widely publicised throughout the company and the context within which it is being offered to staff is also being explained. ESB is proud of the recognition the company has gained in terms of its CSR strategy, which has long since become an integral part of dayto-day operations. ESB is continually looking to build a sustainable future for generations to come, and is committed to creating a healthy and productive workplace environment for our staff in the here and now.


20/10/2014 13:57:33

CSR Profile LIDL

A Lidl help Going A Long Way Lidl has partnered with Barretstown to help thousands of children affected by cancer and other serious illnesses to enjoy being a child again. The retailer has also partnered with Crosscare to create Ireland’s First Mobile Food Bank.

Mobile Food Bank in partnership with Crosscare


idl has chosen to “be part of the magic” of Barretstown by committing to raising d1 million over three years and they are right on track having raised d330,000 in just one year. The company wants thousands of children, affected by cancer and other serious illness, to experience the magic of Barretstown and enjoy being a child again. This money goes towards supporting Barretstown’s goal to rebuild the lives of these children, and their families, through a life changing therapeutic recreation programme in a safe, fun and supportive environment. Barretstown is a residential camp for children with a serious illness offering a range of adventurous and challenging activities and supported behind the scenes by discreet medical


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attention and care - always for free. It is a break from hospitals, white coats and medical treatment and a chance for sick children to be children again: to have fun, to make new friends and create new memories – all within the beautiful and magical setting of Barretstown Castle in the Kildare countryside.

Partnership with Crosscare In September 2013 Lidl Ireland and the Crosscare Dublin Food Bank – Ireland’s only established

food bank – announced details of a partnership launching Ireland’s first mobile food bank. The mobile food bank collects surplus food and non-food product on a daily basis from each of the participating Lidl stores in Ballyfermot; Pottery Road; Clondalkin; Walkinstown; Greenhills; Nutgrove; Stillorgan and Rathfarnham and distributes the product initially to the 70 charities working with those most in need, based in each of the localities. The remaining food is returned to the three Crosscare Community cafés catering for over 600 people on a daily basis and via a meals-on-wheels service for those housebound. As well as the surplus food product, Lidl provides a refrigerated van; motor insurance and the required fuel with Crosscare manning the service with a team of trained volunteers. Over 10 per cent of people in Ireland are affected by food poverty, which means

that they simply cannot afford to provide themselves and their families with the recommended daily amounts of food. People finding themselves at risk of food poverty include those living alone; families on low incomes; single parents and families with three or more children. Established over seventy years ago and running the food bank for over thirty years, Crosscare diverts over 550 tonnes of food from landfill and the new partnership with Lidl will result in an additional 300 tonnes of food being redistributed via their network to those most in need, almost doubling the waste saved from landfill. For more information on Barretstown go to For more information on Crosscare Food Bank go to or for information on all of Lidl’s CSR activities visit the ‘community’ section on

Excellence in the Community – Community Programme

We are delighted to have won the award for Excellence in the Community – Community Programme - for our work with Crosscare Foodbank. It is the first time a retailer has put in place a structured donation process of surplus food from our Dublin stores seven days of the week, every week of the year and together, Lidl and Crosscare have set up Ireland’s first ever mobile foodbank. It could not have happened without the dedication and foresight of the teams within Lidl and Crosscare to bring this effective, yet complex, idea to life. We are very proud of what we have achieved with Crosscare as it gets right back to the heart of what CSR should be about. Caitriona McCarry, Senior Communications Manager, Lidl Ireland

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 13:58:49

CSR Profile Vodafone


with Young people Vodafone took the CSR Award for Excellence in Community – Partnership with Charity – Multinational Company for its inspirational Vodafone Ireland & Young Social Innovators ‘Go Do’ Partnership.


he Vodafone Ireland Foundation was established in 2003 to give back to the local community. It is one of 27 Vodafone Foundations around the world and has so far, contributed over a8 million to charitable causes. In 2012 the Vodafone Ireland Foundation decided to align its resources and commit fully to one single issue facing Irish society. Following research, the issue that kept resurfacing was Ireland’s young people and how disproportionately they were being affected by the recession, unemployment, emigration and a feeling of disillusionment leading to social behavioural problems, such as addiction and a worrying increase in the number of suicides. Vodafone wanted to be part of a sustainable solution and prevent ‘a lost generation of youth’. The Young Social Innovators (YSI) is a youth organisation set up in

2001 by Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and Rachel Collier. YSI’s vision is to fire young people’s passion to change the world for good. Its Social Innovation ACTION programme encourages young people, aged 15-18 years, to work in groups to create innovative responses to a social issue they really care about. With a YSI Guide (educator) they follow the unique YSI social innovation framework of Care, Collaborate, Change and Communicate. The Vodafone Ireland Foundation believes in the power of the young people of Ireland to bring about positive change in their communities and society. In choosing Young Social Innovators as a strategic CSR partner, the company set the challenge of engaging 100,000 young social innovators by 2015. The partnership has been enormously successful to date. Vodafone leveraged its employees, technology and

Vodafone CEO Anne O’Leary with Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and students of Eureka Secondary School, Kells, at the launch of the Social Innovation Flag schools initiative in 2014.

brand strength to support YSI to address issues and leave a positive legacy. With Vodafone’s support there have been 422 projects completed this year tackling bullying, poverty, human trafficking, loneliness, human rights, braille menus in restaurants and farm and water safety, to name but a few. Some big impact projects over the past two years have included: Davis College students from Cork who lobbied the State to launch an inaugural remembrance National Missing Persons Day, enhanced by Vodafone with the Child Rescue Ireland App which was designed to

Excellence in Community – Partnership with Charity – Multinational Company

Congratulations to Vodafone on winning the Excellence in Community – Partnership with Charity – MNC category. This award recognises the amazing support that Vodafone has given to Young Social Innovators and, as their charity partner, we couldn’t be happier or more proud. To see Vodafone’s commitment recognised by the business community is very important to us because we see and experience first-hand the difference that Vodafone’s contribution has made to us as an organisation and, more importantly, the difference this makes to the young people and local communities supported all over Ireland by our programmes. Ireland will never be the same because of this partnership. Rachel Collier, CEO, YSI

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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support Gardaí in the case of missing children; Eureka Secondary School students from Meath succeeded in developing a school resource and video on organ donation and disseminated this to all schools across Ireland; and Collinstown Park Community College students from Dublin organised a youth led mental health programme which encourages young people to create and submit short film clips on positive mental health. The highlight of the programme was their black tie CAST Film Festival, which saw 500 teenagers showcasing their films and ideas in Dublin last year. Going forward the aims of the partnership are to build an empowered community of 100,000 young social innovators by 2015, to grow Vodafone’s employee engagement in the programme to 25 per cent and to raise public awareness of the charity.


20/10/2014 14:04:52

CSR Profile Citi

CSR in the Citi The Citi Foundation has been working on a range of CSR initiatives over the past year, including programmes with two of Dublin’s universities.


f key importance to Citi, and its wide ranging CSR programme, is intervention at critical decision making times in the lives of young school-goers. As such, Citi funds two innovative outreach programmes for access services at UCD and DCU, by way of funds from the Citi Foundation. The DCU Access Service provides support to students, schools and communities, currently underrepresented in third level education. The service aims to help all students realise their full potential, particularly those with no family history of third level education. Over 10,000 primary and secondary school students participate on DCU Access programmes each year. It also provides academic, professional and financial support to over 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate Access students in DCU. At UCD, the Access Centre works to foster a university environment which can attract students from a wide range of backgrounds, including those from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, and those with a disability. The centre provides a range of academic and financial initiatives and supports on campus to ensure such students become


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independent learners and can enjoy a fuller experience. They also deliver outreach programmes to second level schools, community and voluntary organisations. “Citi has a number of focus areas for our philanthropic investments. One of those key pillars is around economic opportunities, and in this particular area we are looking to increase the number of low income students who receive adequate preparation skills and resources to generate or earn a sustainable income,” explains Tara O’Reilly, Public Affairs Officer at Citi. Citi has provided funding for DCU’s Guiding the Way Forward – a programme for second level students delivered by career guidance counsellors in schools, supported by DCU staff and students. The programme provides schools with additional resources to help students make informed decisions when choosing their subjects. It

The UCD Access Office delivers outreach programmes to second level students.

also provides additional support to students when choosing a course of study or career following second level education. According to Ita Tobin, Head of DCU Access: “Simply put, without Citi this initiative would not have been possible. It is a unique programme which enables DCU to match its best resources to the needs of local schools. It also provides critical advice for parents and students on funding third level education.” At UCD, the Access Centre is working with Citi to deliver the Future You peer mentoring programme, which aims to improve the education and employment aspirations for young people in disadvantaged areas in greater Dublin. This programme has three strands: the provision of mentoring (including a dedicated closed social media forum and academic support); a parental support programme; and a programme which develops the employment skills

of the mentors through workshops, tailored plans and coaching. “The backing of the organisation from a financial point of view is very important,” says Fiona Sweeney, from UCD’s Access Centre. “Practically speaking, we wouldn’t be able to run such a wonderful programme without corporate sponsorship.” Such programmes fit neatly into the CSR policies in place at Citi, which include the Citi Volunteers programme. Citi employees volunteer their time teaching educational programmes in the classroom with Junior Achievement, mentoring students on the Career Academy programme and reading with children on the Time to Read initiative. Volunteers also teach older people how to use the internet with Age Action and young people how to code with Coderdojo. Employees also actively fundraise for the company’s charity of the year, the Irish Heart Foundation.

Excellence in the Community – Community Programme Citi is delighted to win the Community Programme in the multinational category of this year’s Chambers Ireland CSR awards. Our access outreach programmes at UCD and DCU aim to support students with no family tradition of attending third level to attain a place on a course. Citi works very closely in partnership with these two universities to ensure these programmes are relevant, innovative and creative for the students and facilitators who are delivering them. It is great to be recognised for these beneficial programmes by an expert panel on CSR at the awards. Colin Moreland, Treasurer and Head of Treasury and Trade Solution, Citi

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 14:07:02

CSR Profile Carambola

Giving Something Back Carambola Kidz Foundation has been involved in a number of community projects, including the installation of a national school library in Jobstown.

C, Ireland’s leading supplier of bespoke packed school lunches, has since its inception in 2003 always ‘put something back’ into its client schools and the communities in which they operate. In our first decade this has amounted to over h500,000. In recent years the schools, at Carambola’s suggestion, have become infinitely more creative as to what they can do with funds ‘outside their normal operating budget’. It accomplishes this through Carambola Kidz Foundation, its charitable arm.

One of the company’s favourite projects to date has been the installation of a fully functioning library in St Thomas’s Senior National School in Jobstown, Tallaght, Co. Dublin. School principal Eithne O’Shea had mentioned that it was her dream to convert an old computer room into a library, but felt it was virtually impossible. So, Carambola Kidz Foundation stepped up to the plate and managed to achieve Eithne’s dream. A once dowdy functional room has been transformed into a bright, spacious, colourful hub where imagination and creativity roam free. It has become one of the rooms most favoured by the children, and reading ‘books they won’t be tested on’ has become one of the activities they love to spend time at. As part of the project, a team of junior librarians have been trained up to monitor the day-to-day

operations of the library. This has further enhanced the value of the project and children from the senior classes vie to become part of this responsible team. Colm O’Brien, Founder and MD, said: “By establishing the library at St Thomas’s, we are taking the 100-year view of the impact our work will have. It is our absolute belief that some child will read a book, just because it’s there, and in doing so will take a different path and that that very act will change the world forever.”

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10/09/2014 15:21

20/10/2014 14:07:49

CSR Profile KPMG

Corporate Citizenship at KPMG

KPMG’s Get Cents personal finance programme continues to assist marginalised members of society in leading independent lives.


he ‘Get Cents’ programme was initially launched by KPMG in 2009, and has since grown from strength to strength. The core concept of Get Cents revolves around a small group providing handson engagement with marginalised members of society, focusing on money management, savings and budgeting. While programmes exist on a national scale targeting mainstream school students, Get Cents focuses its resources on disadvantaged groups, those typically forgotten by society, such as disadvantaged youths who have dropped out of school (North Wall Community Training Centre), homeless people (Depaul Ireland) and young people with disabilities (WALK). Since the beginning, the content of the programme has been revised to suit these three different audiences at the request of each community organisation, which lacked the resources to implement such programmes on their own.

Achieving Aims The programme’s aim is quite simple – ensuring that specific disadvantaged groups in society are equipped with the skills and knowledge which can help them in adapting their own personal situations, and giving them the opportunity to live independently. Clients from each of the three organisations attended three sessions to learn about the importance of money management, how to draw up a personal/household budget, management of bill payments, the need to save and the importance of shopping around, and more. In implementing this programme in each of the organisations, KPMG worked closely with each in a bid to understand their needs, before engaging KPMG staff to revise and adapt the Get Cents content to suit these needs. KPMG has continually encouraged staff members to become involved in the work of these organisations, and has allocated time off work for staff to participate in the programme, while also

KPMG strives to involve itself in projects which reflect its brand – Inspiring Confidence, Empowering Change – and which are embedded in the company’s corporate culture. 72

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contributing financially in the form of a g50 completion voucher/prize bond for each successful programme participant.

Success The success of the Get Cents programme has been measured through feedback from clients who have completed the course, and from the experience of the three organisations KPMG has engaged with. For example, a baseline study was conducted of the WALK programme participants, done before

and after their engagement with Get Cents. The results found that 90 per cent of participants would now consider doing up a personal budget, all participants could now identify ‘wants’ versus ‘needs’, while 80 per cent of those who didn’t have a savings account resolved to open one. “WALK found ‘Get Cents’ to be an innovative and forward thinking programme that built on the skills and confidence of the individuals participating to manage their own money more effectively. At a time

Get Cents campaign, North Wall Community Training Centre

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 14:08:37

CSR Profile KPMG

when there have been significant cuts to the disability sector, it is more important than ever that we facilitate individuals to build on their independence and life skills, and the Get Cents programme has played a key part in doing just this,” said Sian Thompson, Rehabilitative Training Team Facilitator, WALK.

CSR at KPMG Of course, this programme is just one facet of a much wider CSR programme which has long been in place at KPMG, a programme which actively encourages employees to get out into the community and make a real difference. KPMG are keen to ensure their CSR initiatives constitute more than just philanthropy, but a substantial difference on the ground by harnessing the skills, experience and enthusiasm of their people. KPMG strives to involve itself in projects which reflect its brand. Inspiring confidence and empowering change are

Get Cents campaign, North Wall Community Training Centre

embedded in the company’s corporate culture, and such encouragement can have a significant impact on disadvantaged groups in Ireland. The Get Cents programme with North Wall, Depaul and WALK is a great example of this involvement in action. With these three organisations KPMG has built a solid relationship, utilised the

Unique Partnerships KPMG has been successfully working with three very different organisations. n North Wall Community Training Centre – runs training programmes for early school leavers between 16-21. Programmes include painting and decorating, mechanic, retail, receptionist skills and more. n Depaul Ireland – helps people most in need in society, who are homeless and excluded. They provide support and opportunities to allow individuals to reach their potential. n WALK – a progressive service for adults with intellectual disabilities. They provide services to people with intellectual disabilities who are determined to lead self-determined lives in socially inclusive communities.

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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skills of KPMG staff and made a real difference in the lives of those who have participated in the programme. As a result, KPMG staff have played a fundamental role in ensuring the programme’s success. Over 90 staff have been involved in delivering the content and building relationships with people on the course. Staff have spoken of their enjoyment of working on this initiative; many have been touched by the personal stories they heard from clients, while other staff members have noted how involvement in the project has made a real impact on how clients will live independently in the future. The Get Cents programme has been running for the past five years now, and in the coming months KPMG plans to run more programmes. The company continues to evaluate where they can add value, and will

The ‘Get Cents’ programme was initially launched by KPMG in 2009, and has since grown from strength to strength. look at working with other marginalised groups which could benefit from both the input of KPMG volunteers, and the comprehensive, tailored Get Cents materials which can provide a real benefit to the lives of Ireland’s disadvantaged communities.


20/10/2014 14:08:40

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17/10/2014 09:52:49

iB Survey Dublin Business School

Springboard To Success Gerry Muldowney, CEO of Dublin Business School outlines the wide range of opportunities students can avail of at DBS – at any stage of their career. Q: Speaking in general, what distinguishes DBS from other colleges?

A: Firstly, DBS is the Irish division of Kaplan, the global education and training division of Graham Holdings. Kaplan, with annual revenues of $2.3 billion, delivers education and training programmes in over 100 countries and employs over 26,000 people. In addition, over the last 40 years DBS has established a very good reputation in Ireland. It is the largest independent higher education institution in the country, with a student population of approximately 9,000. Its success is attributable to its focus on the student, the quality of its teaching and staff, the recognition and reputation which it has achieved (both on a national and international basis), its responsiveness to market needs, and the range of programmes it offers.

Q: As budding professionals, why should undergraduates choose to study at DBS?

A: DBS provides a unique and varied learning experience to our undergraduate students in the centre of Dublin city. We offer our students a ‘ladder of opportunity’ by InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Gerry Muldowney, CEO of Dublin Business School

providing programmes at Levels 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Over the last 40 years DBS has educated many thousands of students who have turned out to be highly successful in their respected careers.

MSc and MA awards. These developments are testament to the continuing maturity of the institution and the quality and expertise of our academic faculty and staff.

Q: What postgraduate and

A: Since 2011, DBS has

professional programmes are DBS offering?

been involved in a number of Government initiatives (such as Springboard, ICT Skills Programme and Momentum) aimed at reskilling and retraining individuals for the emerging future growth areas of the economy. The awarding of funding through a competitive national tendering process has been a further milestone in the development and recognition of DBS. To date, DBS has retrained and upskilled over 3,000 learners in the areas of

A: When the college started in 1977, the delivery of professional accountancy programmes was where DBS established its reputation. Since that time, our students have achieved thousands of prizes on a national and worldwide basis in the professional accountancy examinations. As DBS has grown and developed, it has designed and launched approximately 20 Masters programmes in a variety of disciplines, leading to MBA,

Q: What Government initiatives are DBS involved in and what are the benefits?

ICT, digital marketing, international financial services and project management. One of the most significant initiatives in this area has been our graduate conversion course in computing. Graduates of the programme have achieved an 80 per cent full-time employment outcome.

Q: Any major plans in the near future for DBS and what are your thoughts on the current economic landscape in Ireland?

A: At DBS, we are very excited about the growth of our services on an international basis. One example of these developments is the launch of our BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance programme in association with the Malaysian government in Kuala Lumpur. On the current state of business in Ireland, undoubtedly confidence is coming back into the marketplace. I think that over the last number of years ‘Ireland Inc.’ has gone back to basics and focused on what we as a country are good at. DBS looks forward to this continuing, and to educating and training the next generation of learners. 75

20/10/2014 14:10:10



      Surface Water & Flood Management Division Mr. John Flanagan, Executive Manager

Surface Water & Flood Management Division Mr. John Flanagan, Executive Manager

Regional Projects & Flood Advisory Office

Monitor & advise on ongoing flood risk. Develop regional and local flood alleviation projects to reduce coastal, fluvial, pluvial and surface water flood risk in Dublin City. Monitor regional, national and international developments in flood risk management with particular emphasis current flood andDevelop climate change. Construction Monitor & advise ononongoing floodrisk risk. regional and localprojects flood alleviation currently on lower Dodder €30m, Clanmoyle Road €6m, Glasanon Swale, Finglas, South City. projects to reduce coastal, fluvial, pluvial and surface water flood risk in Dublin Campshires €3.5mnational starting in October. Developing flood management procedures. Monitor regional, and international developments in flood risk management with

Regional Projects & Flood Advisory Office

particular emphasis on current flood risk and climate change. Construction projects Eastern River Basin District (ERBD ) €6m, Glasanon Swale, Finglas, South currently on lower Dodder €30m, Clanmoyle Road Campshires €3.5m starting in October. Developing management Developing programmes of measures for Local Authoritiesflood and others to reduce procedures. pollution to our coasts, rivers, lakes, canals and groundwater bodies, in line with EU and national directives, legislation and guidelines.

Eastern River Basin District (ERBD)

Developing of measures for Authorities and others to reduce pollution Surfaceprogrammes Water Maintenance &Local Flood Risk Management toProviding our coasts, lakes, canals and groundwater bodies, in line with EU and national roadrivers, gully maintenance for the city. Developing flood management directives, legislation and guidelines. procedures. Ultimately maintaining the city’s rivers, flood forum, community self help programme, training programmes for flood response.

Surface Water Maintenance & Flood Risk Management Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Providing road gully maintenance for the city. Developing flood management Providing continuous professional development for Engineering & Technical grades in procedures. Ultimately city’s rivers, Dublin City Council, with maintaining close liaison tothe Engineers Ireland.flood forum, community self help programme, training programmes for flood response.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Providing continuous professional development for Engineering & Technical grades in Dublin City Council, with close liaison to Engineers Ireland. Surface Water & Best wishes to the Flood Management Division

Regional Projects &

readersFlood of InAdvisory Business Officefrom

Block 1, Floor 4, Civic Offices, Floor 4, 68-70 Marrowbone Lane The & Transportation Department of WoodEnvironment Quay, Dublin 8. Dublin 8. Tel: 01 222 3187 Tel: 01 222 4804

Dublin City Council



Surface Water & Flood Management Division

Regional Projects & Flood Advisory Office

Block 1, Floor 4, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8. Tel: 01 222 3187 E-mail:

Floor 4, 68-70 Marrowbone Lane Dublin 8. Tel: 01 222 4804 E-mail:

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17/10/2014 09:53:56

FLOOD Risk ManagemeNt Dublin City Council

Reducing Risk Flood alleviation works being carried out by Dublin City Council have done much to protect the city from costly damages.


n January of this year, Dublin City recorded its highest ever tide of 3.014m at Alexandra Basin. Although this tide caused estimated damages of €100,000, this has been a significant reduction in costs in comparison with €60 million in February 2002 – owed largely to the flood alleviation works carried out by Dublin City Council. Until 2002, Dublin was not perceived as having a large flood risk. However, on February 1st the city recorded a tide of 2.95m Malin Head which flooded over 1,250 buildings. When the return period for this very high tide was estimated at one in 68 years, the Dublin Flooding Initiative (DFI) was born. Initially, the DFI was formed to analyse flood risk in four main areas and reduce it, where required and where possible, to recommended levels. After very heavy rainfall from thunder storms in August 2008 and July 2009, pluvial flooding was also added to the DFI. The Dublin Coastal Flood Protection Project (DCFPP) was initiated as a result of the 2002 floods. This project looked at all of the existing coastal defences in Dublin city, catalogued them, recorded defence heights and carried out a rudimentary assessment of their structural stability, leading to the development of a tidal and wave overtopping hydraulic computer model for Dublin Bay. This used tidal records from 1923 onwards and was verified against historic flooding records. The protection levels of each section of the city’s coastal defences were then evaluated, and flood alleviation works were carried out beside Merrion Gates and Marine InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Drive in Sandymount, and on the Lower Dodder and Tolka. Further works were carried out on the Royal Canal in 2009, providing tidal flood protection to over 300 buildings in the north inner city. In November 2002, significant flooding occurred on the Tolka river, particularly in Glasnevin and Drumcondra. The Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study (GDSDS) was underway in the greater Dublin area at the time and the Tolka was one of the rivers being analysed. The return period for this flood was estimated at around one in 100 years. Consequently, the GDSDS for the Tolka was extended to recommend flood alleviation measures. Most of these were found to be cost beneficial for the 100 year flood event and construction was carried out on them between 2003 to 2007. These works have also proven successful in two further flood events since 2007.

In August 2008, July 2009 and October 2011 a number of areas of the city were flooded due to extreme rainfall. Subsequently, large storage retention ponds were constructed in Cabra, Clontarf, Ashtown and another is under construction in Finglas. New flood walls on the Camac at Lady’s Lane were also constructed in 2012. These defence measures performed well when tested in the recent extreme rainfall on August 2nd 2014. The record-breaking tide in January, however, was the ultimate test for Dublin’s improved flood defences, and their good performance bodes well for the €25m of tidal works and the €35m of river/estuary works completed to date in the city. Further works have been planned, incorporating allowances for consequences of global warming, which will provide the city with additional protection from flooding in the future.


20/10/2014 14:09:23


Flood Risk Management The Office of Public Works is the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland and delivers services in the following key areas: • Strategic planning to manage flood risk into the future - CFRAM programme and Irish Coastal Protection Strategic Studies. • A programme of Capital Investment in flood relief works in partnership with Local Authorities. • Programmed maintenance of completed arterial drainage and urban flood relief schemes. • Hydrometric data collection to improve water level flow estimation. • Public awareness measures - how to plan, prepare and protect against flood risk. • Commissioning research into flood risk management issues.

For further information go to:

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17/10/2014 09:55:00

FLOOD Risk ManagemeNt OPW

Putting Plans in Place An EU directive has seen a large scale flood risk assessment carried out across Ireland. Tony Smyth from the Office of Public Works explains.


looding in Ireland has moved from a temporary problem to a more permanent issue in recent years. With heavy rainfall becoming a more pervasive aspect to our country’s weather, the need arises for solid flood prevention and risk management plans to be put in place, and for the wider populace to be prepared in the event of their homes or premises being flooded.

Role As a government lead agency for flood risk management, the Office of Public Works (OPW) co-ordinates across other government departments and agencies, particularly with local authorities who have a role to play in relation to flood risk management. Part of their remit also includes public education, and in the past the office has produced an information booklet and a website – As part of an EU directive, by 2015 members states must assess if all watercourses and coast lines are at risk from flooding, and then map both the possible flood extent and people who are at risk within such areas. Here in Ireland, this initiative is being put into place by the national Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) programme, with a focus on reducing and managing flood risk, a programme managed by the OPW. “It has been an enormous undertaking to carry out the CFRAM work and that work is well in hand now. We’ll have the flood maps and have the risk for the country mapped by the end of this year, and we’ll have these maps available for public consultation in the autumn,” says Tony Smyth, Director of Engineering InBusiness | Q3 2014

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with the OPW. “We’ll then be proceeding to develop catchment flood risk management plans for the 300 areas identified in our preliminary study, and coming out of that we will have prioritised measures, and will be able to rank each of those 300 areas in terms of greatest impact.”

Programme Complexity Smyth is keen to stress the importance of the CFRAM work, and highlights the OPW’s desire that people don’t simply dismiss this as another regular study. “The magnitude and complexity of the CFRAM programme is important. Sometimes people may look at it and say ‘not another study’, but it’s actually a very comprehensive look at and examination of flood risk,” Smyth explains. “We surveyed approximately 13 per cent of the State along river banks, there was 6,5007,000km of channels surveyed at 100m intervals, in order to produce hydraulic models which look at

As a government lead agency for flood risk management, the Office of Public Works (OPW) co-ordinates across other government departments and agencies, particularly with local authorities who have a role to play in relation to flood risk management.

how the flood propagates down and out of a river.” A huge amount of modelling and engineering work has been produced as a result of these investigative efforts, and the extent of the programmes and reports can be found on “It is complex, and we’re anxious that people don’t dismiss it as just another study or report,” Smyth adds. “We hope that people will use the information contained in the maps and flood plans, particularly when considering development near rivers or coasts.”


20/10/2014 14:10:57

OSi are now exclusive resellers in National Mapping Agency and Colour Infrared (CIR) imagery

Captured during 2011/2012, this imagery set consists of 30 cm natural colour (RGB) orthophotography and 60 cm colour infrared (CIR). with OSi products and available in your Likely uses of the orthophotography include planning and land use (e.g. forestry and agriculture). With such running/cycling events or golf course display. Colour infrared imagery exposes a wealth standard colour imagery. How an object responds to Near Infrared (NIR) light can indicate crop health in forestry and agriculture. More intense red colours indicate greater chlorophyll levels (vigorous growth), while colder green/ blue colours indicates poor growth, soil surfaces, water etc.

OSi, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland tel: +35318025300 locall: 1890 674627 web: email: 232303_1C_OSI_CMD_CIB.indd 1

17/10/2014 09:55:58

FLOOD Risk ManagemeNt Murphy Surveys

Assessing Flood Risk Murphy Surveys works closely with a range of organisations in conducting flood risk surveys, mapping, modelling and monitoring.


s part of the EU directive 2007/60/EC, member states are now required to complete the following by 2015: a) assess if all water courses and coast lines are at risk from flooding b) map the flood extent and assets and humans at risk in these areas and c) take adequate and coordinated measures to reduce this flood risk. The directive requires each member state to first carry out a preliminary assessment to identify the river basins and associated coastal areas at risk of flooding and then draw up flood risk maps and establish flood risk management plans focused on prevention, protection and preparedness. The directive applies to inland waters as well as all coastal waters across the whole territory of the EU. In Ireland this process has been facilitated by the national CFRAM (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management) programme which is focused on the reduction and management of flood risk over the short to medium term. Murphy Surveys has undertaken surveying for CFRAM as part of one of the largest river channel surveys undertaken in Europe. The projects surveyed by Murphy Surveys consists of over 43,000 river sections. Methodology included the collection of survey data and the assembly and analysis of meteorological, hydrological and tidal data. Surveys were undertaken to include cross/long sections on river channels and banks, channel structures and flood defences. Murphy Surveys has successfully completed eight CFRAM contracts with an additional 15 infill contracts to date. InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Managing Risk Current planning requires authorities to avoid developing in areas at risk of flooding, particularly floodplains, unless the risk can be reduced or managed to an acceptable level without negatively impacting on flooding in other locations. Relevant authorities should adopt an approach for new developments based upon avoidance, reduction and mitigation of flood risk. Flood risk management should be incorporated into the decision-making process for planning applications and appeals. The entire process is ongoing and will require further refinement and updating of existing data sets to allow for inaccuracies in the modeling and mapping process and in order to allow for future site developments. It is crucial that this new data be undertaken rapidly and safely and be seamlessly incorporated into existing data sets by experienced personnel to identify specific flood hazards and survey accordingly. Murphy Surveys can offer multiple solutions, such as survey flood defenses, flood defence asset assessments, ground based survey techniques along with remote sensing techniques. We can capture live flood events using multiple techniques, water levels, extents, flow rates and monitor structures at risk to

Murphy Surveys has undertaken surveying for CFRAM as part of one of the largest river channel surveys undertaken in Europe. The projects surveyed by Murphy Surveys consists of over 43,000 river sections.

scour. We can also undertake detailed site topographic surveys to facilitate planning applications and the development of flood relief schemes as well as assisting with insurance claims, threshold levels, flood rack marks and reclassify flood potential. Importantly too, Murphy Surveys have the resources to undertake emergency surveys. The aim of this directive is to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. In the near future flood risk maps will be published and local authorities and the public will have the opportunity to review flood extents and offer comments and feedback either supporting the flood maps accuracy or in some cases questioning findings based upon local knowledge. This is vital for the successful participation and completion of the directive.


20/10/2014 14:12:11



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16/10/2014 10:29

iB Survey Ordnance Survey Ireland

A New Spatial Data Infrastructure for Ireland OSi has recently launched the delivery of a new digital mapping data model, which is being developed to industry and international best practice.


he old adage of ‘location, location, location’ applies to our everyday lives in ways we often don’t think about. Everything happens somewhere. Every activity, incident or event, including the majority of our state and business information, is related to a particular geographic location. The true value of this information is realised when combined, integrated or overlaid with other relevant information for the purposes of gaining a better understanding of the combined data by relating it to a common location or geography. For example, the CSO often use maps to make sense of complex population patterns in the census which otherwise would be difficult to illustrate. If a picture paints a thousand words, a map could write a book! Carrying the book metaphor forward, the importance of us all being ‘on the same page’ is vital to the way we record, store and share data. Location is the common denominator. State and business alike require a standard way of handling location data so that the inherent value of diverse datasets can be fully realised. Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), the national mapping agency, has developed a standardised, authoritative digital framework that enables the consistent referencing and integration of national data related to location. This framework, known as ‘Prime2’, provides the means for GIS data users to accurately integrate and use multiple data sources to provide for better analysis, decision making, optimising resources and delivering efficiencies. This innovative development is one InBusiness | Q3 2014

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of OSi’s key roles as outlined in the eGovernment Strategy 2012 – 2015 and provides for the maintenance and development of the underlying physical infrastructure of the State. The ability to integrate various digital data sources for this purpose is dependent on the format and standard of the source information. Data that is stored and managed in a non-consistent manner which does not adhere to industry standards will be difficult to integrate. Data reengineering may be required to transform or move the source information to a common standard before it can be effectively combined with other data. When using spatial data for analytical purposes, the use of a common reference system ensures quality and consistency in the resulting analysis. In essence, we must all refer to the same geographic location or feature on the ground, be it a building, water metre, or underground utility service. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) provide a basis for spatial data discovery, evaluation and application for users and providers within all levels of Government, the

commercial sector, academia and by citizens in general. The use of a standardised coordinate referencing system within an SDI environment enables geographic objects, such as buildings, land parcels, roads, and utility infrastructure to be uniquely identified and referenced. Each object has a Globally Unique Identification code known as a GUID. OSi has recently launched its first delivery of its Prime2 data model which sees the completion of a seven-year strategic programme. Prime2, the object-oriented digital mapping data model, is being developed to industry and international best practice. Prime2 is a standards based data model, using OGC and ISO standards and is a seamless digital database for the entire country, removing the concept of individual map sheets. Furthermore, the Prime2 data model is map scale independent and treats all mapping features as continuous objects (as they exist in the real world). With such care and attention to detail, Prime2 is a leading edge spatial data platform for Ireland, enabling greater efficiencies within the public and private sectors alike.


20/10/2014 14:13:08

iB Survey McCann Fitzgerald

Going Social Annette Hogan, Consultant in the Technology and Innovation Group of McCann FitzGerald, tells InBUSINESS why every company should have comprehensive social media policy, enabling them to reap the benefits of going social.


he use of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter is so ubiquitous that any business which has not gone social might be forgiven for feeling behind the curve. Given the associated risks, it is understandable that some businesses may be reticent about embracing what social media has to offer. The main risk is the lack of control over content. Users may post information which is illegal, defamatory or offensive or which infringes intellectual property or data privacy rights. If content is monitored, however, the likelihood is that any legal protections afforded to website operators, such as the hosting defence or defence of innocent publication, will be lost. Of particular concern is the use of social media by employees. There is significant potential for timewasting if social media is used during working hours. Of greater concern is the use of social media outside work as there tends to be a blurring of the boundaries between professional and social life. Employees have shown a worrying tendency to post derogatory comments about clients and colleagues after a hard day at the office. This can be very damaging for the employer from a reputational and client relationship perspective. It may also result in dismissal for the employee. The best way to manage these risks is by means of a comprehensive social media policy which clearly sets out the rules of engagement. Employees should be clearly informed of the consequences of


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breach and of the extent to which their social media activities may be monitored. The policy should apply to employees both during and outside working hours. For any business hosting its own social media site, an acceptable usage policy is also of key importance. This should specify what forms of content and activity are prohibited. The website operator should also reserve the right to remove content or block users immediately where the policy is being breached. Where the employer delegates responsibility for managing its social media profile, this should be confined to a limited number of employees of an appropriate level of expertise and seniority. Clear guidelines should also be provided on the scope of permitted use. As a separate issue, many employers are using social media to screen prospective employees at the recruitment stage. The common perception is that if information has been made available to the public, there is no restriction on its use. However, individuals do not lose their data protection or other legal rights as a result of information being made public. Privacy settings can be tricky to manage and many users mistakenly believe that their profile is set to private when it is not. As the information posted on social media often tends to reveal sensitive personal data (e.g. relating to a person’s health, religious or political beliefs, racial or ethnic origin, trade union membership, sexual life, etc.), greater care needs to be taken with its use. Employers should also be mindful not to use the information

Annette Hogan, McCann FitzGerald

in a way that could give rise to discrimination claims. Any employer who wishes to use social media for pre-employment screening should clearly inform applicants from the outset. Searches should be confined to that which is proportionate and relevant in the context and applicants should be provided an opportunity to respond to any adverse findings. In relation to discrimination, employers should exercise the same caution in respect of online checks as with all other aspects of the recruitment process. The risks of going social may seem off-putting. However, by adopting the practical measures suggested, businesses can take full advantage of the benefits of social and effectively manage the risks. InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 17:54:59

iB Survey Renault Ireland

Looking to The horizon InBusiness spoke to Renault Ireland’s Paddy Magee about the improving outlook for both the motoring industry and Renault Group.


n general, it is fair to say that the car industry, both in Ireland and further afield, is fighting back, with some success. Car sales to July 2014 have already surpassed the sales figures for the entirety of 2013, helped along by the second year of the July plate change: just one week into July 9,207 cars had been sold, marking a 79 per cent increase on last year. It’s a sentiment which is endorsed – somewhat cautiously – by Paddy Magee, Country Operations Manager, Renault Ireland. “The second registration plate for Ireland has been a very good thing – not just for the consumer but the industry as a whole,” he explains. “Prior to the two registrations, 60-70 per cent of your business was done in the first quarter of the year. July is up 60 per cent on last year which is phenomenal, and we are up 140 per cent ourselves.” Part of this staggering increase in Renault Group sales here in Ireland is undoubtedly the aggressive marketing campaigns which have been instigated, including the introduction of a five year unlimited warranty and roadside assistance, which gives stronger peace of mind to the consumer – Renault are the only brand to offer this across its entire range. Clearly there is a stable future for the motoring industry in Ireland, and for Renault Group – which has recently incorporated the Dacia brand under its wing (named as one of the top five car brands in Ireland for the month of June). Renault has been undergoing a period of strengthening and investment over the past 18 months, which has also InBusiness | Q3 2014

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seen the introduction of their own bank – Renault Credit International – from France. “The timing was right, because the lending in the Irish market wasn’t there for the motor trade,” says Magee. “It was important for the future that we brought in the bank and our second brand, Dacia.” And while retail motoring still makes for around 75 per cent of Renault Group’s sales in Ireland, Magee also foresees a growth in the commercial vehicle sector. “At the end of the year we will be up about 90 per cent on commercial vehicles. There are a number of factors – we’re the only brand in the market who offer a five year commercial mileage warranty, which is a big thing. And it also comes back to the bank – the lending facility is there for single users on commercial vehicles. The commercial van market we expect to grow by 35-40 per cent. The demand is there, the construction industry is starting

to come back in Dublin, and that demand is being driven through that, and through the logistics companies.” Magee is proud of the success of the Dacia brand here in Ireland in particular. When you introduce a new brand to a country, you’re never sure of how it will perform – whether consumers will welcome or ignore it. But, thanks in part to its affordable and unpretentious nature, the cash-strapped Irish motorist has taken to the Dacia, and almost two years following its introduction, there are in the region of 3,000 Dacias on Irish roads. “Dacia has been a huge success for us,” Magee acknowledges. “Quite often when you launch a new brand into a market, it’s hard to know what the perception of it will be – It could be going really well in Europe, but Ireland tends to be different. That’s one of the things we’re really happy about.”


20/10/2014 14:15:12

Franchising SPAR

A Brand Setting Best Practices SPAR retailers are committed to the values which underpin the brand, and the firm belief that they are not in the food business serving people but in the people business serving food.


perating in Ireland for over 50 years, SPAR is one of the country’s largest convenience retail groups. From the time it opened its first store in Dublin in 1963, the brand has been a leader in Irish convenience retailing, bringing consumers the most innovative products and in-store offerings. The group, which is part of leading wholesale and retail company BWG Foods, includes SPAR for neighbourhood shopping and SPAR Express for forecourt shopping. With a presence in every county across Ireland, SPAR’s over 400 stores provide employment for 14,000 people locally. While convenience is the foundation on which the brand is built, SPAR’s offering is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its customers. Today, the brand is more focused on price and value than ever before and the company enjoys the market leading position for its own brand range which currently runs to over 700 products. At the same time, the brand has continued to push the boundaries of Irish convenience retailing with its ongoing investment in new and bespoke products, instore offerings and store layouts. For example, SPAR boasts an exclusive range of sub brands including Kitsu noodles and Glenmór Irish meats, has exclusive coffee partnerships with Insomnia and Tim Hortons as well as an exclusive range of wines and spirits. Innovation is in SPAR’s DNA and this extends to its marketing initiatives; the placement of a SPAR store in RTE’s Fair City was the first of its kind in Ireland, while its long running sponsorship of Donal Skehan’s cooking programme


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Kitchen Hero serves to capture the important younger audience profile. Aside from their passion for retail and drive to be the best in the market, SPAR offers its retail partners unrivalled support in order to help them run sustainable, profitable businesses. Being part of BWG Foods ensures retailers have access to a wealth of retail insight and some of the most experienced and knowledgeable minds in the business. What’s more, being a member of SPAR International also means that retailers belong to a brand that is setting best-practice standards right across the world. SPAR is unique in the Irish convenience market in terms of being able to open doors to an international audience when it comes to things like private label and new store formats. Being a good corporate citizen is very important to SPAR and the brand is involved in a range of community events and initiatives. Chief among them is its long running association with athletics, at home and abroad, with the brand sponsoring the Great Ireland Run for many years now. The group also fundraises for a nominated charity, which rotates every few years and retailers also have their own links with the charity and community groups at individual store level. SPAR customers have come to expect a high level of consistency in terms of product, price and service

no matter what store they visit, and rely on their independent retail partners to deliver on that promise. SPAR retailers are committed to the values which underpin the brand, and the firm belief that they are not in the food business serving people but in the people business serving food. This is evident through retailers’ participation in an annual 5 Star Excellence Programme which seeks out and rewards the highest standards in retailing, along with the hundreds of local and international accolades the brand has achieved for innovation and world class standards in retailing. The SPAR brand is recognised for its high standards through international and local awards. The group currently has the unique position in Ireland of holding the industry’s most prestigious Awards ‘Convenience Store of the Year’ and ‘Forecourt Retailer of the Year’. This is testament to the quality of the brand and the independent retailers involved ‘Under the tree at SPAR’. InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 14:16:00


in the community 202702_1C_Spar_CMD_CIB.indd 1

Supporting 14,000 Irish Jobs

Supporting Irish Producers

Supporting Local Communities 17/10/2014 09:57:32


Delivering INNOVATION Fastway franchises offer the chance to become part of a thriving industry, backed by the knowledge and expertise of Fastway Couriers Ireland.


ndustry leading delivery standards, continuous innovation and a customer centred approach are the reasons why the franchisees at Fastway Couriers Ireland are widely regarded as best in class. Since commencing trading in Ireland in 2002, Fastway Couriers has grown into a nationally recognised brand, providing a unique next day local and nationwide parcel collection and delivery service to over 20,000 businesses throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. Despite the global and domestic economic downturn, Fastway Couriers Ireland is thriving. Having recognised the growth in the Business to Consumer (B2C) marketplace very early, Fastway Couriers Ireland has evolved, becoming a specialist in the online retail space. As a result, our monthly home deliveries have increased as much as 82 per cent over recent years. Fastway Couriers Ireland currently operates with 274 courier territories, 250 being owned by courier franchisees with a total of 330 vehicles. The courier franchisees are independent business owners, with the regional franchisees providing depot facilities and support services. The courier franchisee operates in an exclusive territorial area. Fastway courier franchisees are committed to providing the best delivery experience to every customer, every time. Regional franchisees are responsible for providing depot facilities, on-going training and support as well as business services to their courier franchisees. This includes sales support, administration


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and customer service. The regional franchisees at Fastway Couriers are excellent at managing people and growth. 2012 and 2013 saw huge network expansion, requiring strategic and measured intervention from the regional franchisees. Owning a franchise allows you to go into business for yourself, but not by yourself. Fastway Couriers provide an established brand in the Irish market which give the benefit of a pre-sold customer base which would ordinarily take years to establish. Fastway Couriers Ireland is fully committed to supporting all their franchisees. At the regional franchisee level, the Franchise Support Office provides on-going training and support in areas such as sales, marketing, IT, accounts and administration.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Fastway operate through a unique prepaid service to our clients. Clients purchase labels based on the volume of parcels they send. As the service is prepaid, our clients have greater control over their costs as they don’t have to ‘plan’ for additional costs through weight breaks, fuel surcharges, redelivery charges etc. In

2012, we developed new services to meet market demands and to provide clients with a higher level of service.

PARCEL CONNECT Parcel Connect, the award winning Best International Delivery Initiative from Metapack, the UK’s largest supply chain event, is an additional service offered to our clients through Fastway Couriers. Parcel Connect simply allows you to send, collect and return parcels through over 960 local convenience stores across Ireland. Parcel Connect have recently launched a new website with a market leading virtual UK address solution which enables you to take advantage of free UK delivery for a small charge to collect your parcels from your chosen store. To find out more information on any of our products and services or if you wish to become part of our franchise, please refer to our website for any open opportunities, InBUSINESS | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 14:16:46

Franchising Countrywide Signs

Local Agency, National Vision Countrywide Signs offer an opportunity to become part of a franchise serving the estate agency market here in Ireland.


n innovative company which manages signage requirement for the estate agency market, Countrywide Signs was established in the UK in 1998 and following a period of rapid growth and expansion, extended to Ireland in 2005. Countrywide Signs pride themselves on offering a hassle free, prompt and cost effective board management service covering the printing of For Sale/To Let boards and associated status slips to supplying posts and fixings, storage, in-house printing of specific property attachments, stock control and unique online ordering systems.

With their head office based in Tullamore, Countrywide Signs Ireland currently service boards on behalf of over 2,500 estate agency offices on a local and national basis. Nine years on from commencing operations in Ireland, there are eight established franchise operations with 12 vans, covering their exclusive territories in Leinster and Ulster. The company is independently owned and operated, under licence from the franchise group of Countrywide Signs Ltd, which now operates over

75 franchise businesses throughout Ireland and the UK. Over the next 14 months Countrywide Signs Ireland aims to establish a further five approved franchise operations in Munster and Connaught, thus offering complete national coverage for printing, erecting and servicing of estate agency signs. For further information on available franchise packages and territories, simply email

Join the brand showing all the right signs. Countrywide Signs is actively seeking entrepreneurs to expand our current franchise network in Ireland. Are you interested in owning and operating your own Countrywide Signs franchise with an exclusive franchise territory? We offer tailored business packages, with Franchises commencing

from €22,995 + VAT. UÊVan-based franchise business ensures low overheads UÊOn-line board management systems UÊCentralised invoicing and payment system UÊMinimal paperwork and good earning potential UÊVan and management franchise opportunities UÊOver 60 franchises operating in Ireland and the UK UÊFull management support team UÊLow investment opportunity UÊHigh market demand - with repeat business UÊEstablished existing Irish network trading over eight years UÊISO 9001 Accredited Company Specifically seeking franchises in the South and West of Ireland.

For more information visit: or email: 232617_2L_CountrywideSigns_CMD_CIB.indd 1

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14/8/14 16:12:54

20/10/2014 14:17:35

iB Survey KPMG

The future is almost here Salvador Nash, Director, Legal Services and Head of Company Secretarial, KPMG Dublin, looks at the possible implications of the Companies Bill 2012.


t has never been more important for finance directors or owner managers of Irish businesses to be aware of legislative change and how new laws impact their business. Staying apace with a company’s legal obligations can be a challenge, however it is vital all businesses operating in Ireland understand the possible implications new regulation poses for their business. The Companies Bill 2012 has been in the pipeline for more than a decade and is expected to be signed into law this autumn. Commencement of this Act is due to take effect during the first quarter of 2015. It represents the most significant overhaul of Irish company law in 50 years and consolidates primary and secondary legislation into one single Companies Act. While largely a consolidation Bill, the Companies Bill 2012 does contain radical reforms, the most ambitious of which is to place private companies at the centre of the Irish company law code, shifting the emphasis away from public companies.

What this means for Irish Business During the transition period, existing private companies will have to decide whether to become a Company Limited by Shares (new simplified entity) or a Designated Activity Company. The conversion steps then need to be taken, which may include a change of name as it would be unwise to assume that the default form of company is suitable. This could have serious cost implications for Irish businesses.


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Salvador Nash, Director, Legal Services and Head of Company Secretarial, KPMG Dublin.

A CLS, expected to be the most common type of company, will no longer have an objects clause, thereby giving it the same contractual capacity as a natural person. Additionally, a CLS may elect to avail of less onerous requirements under the Bill (e.g. a CLS may have a sole director, but the same person cannot be the secretary, and may have a written form AGM). The introduction of a one document constitution for a CLS, instead of the existing two document Memorandum and Articles of Association, will necessitate review to ensure specific provisions are contained in the new constitution. Directors’ common law fiduciary

duties are codified and explicitly stated in the Bill, helping directors to understand their duties. There is a new requirement for directors and the company secretary to make a declaration on their appointment, acknowledging their legal duties under the Companies Acts, other statutes and common law. A new duty has also been imposed on directors to ensure that the person who is entrusted with the role of company secretary has the necessary skills or is sufficiently resourced to discharge their duties under the Bill. There will also be a new classification of company law offences making it easier for directors to identify if they are in breach of the law and the penalties that might incur. Reforms also include a new requirement to register, on public record, persons authorised to bind a company, the use of service addresses by directors and secretaries in lieu of residential addresses, domestic mergers and divisions, the extension of the audit exemption provisions to include group companies and a validation procedure for certain types of transactions, all designed to streamline and simplify commercial transactions and reduce costs. The Bill aims to simplify existing company law, reduce the administrative burden for companies and introduce some overdue modern concepts into Irish company law. While the new legislation is welcome, it does compel business people to make decisions about the future structure of their company. As ever in a competitive world, procrastination is not an option. InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 14:18:30

iB Survey Microsoft

Re-imagining Enterprise Microsoft’s Office 365 solutions offer greater options and connectivity in the cloud.


espite the myriad economic challenges and their consequences, we live in an era of great potential for business. Technology is growing at faster and faster rates, and businesses today can utilise such developments to drive their own growth and expansion. Software tools in particular can improve upon factors such as productivity, customer relationships and goodwill. For a long time now, Microsoft Office has been synonymous with computer applications in the business environment. The most recent incarnation – Office 365 – utilises cloud computing to securely host data in the cloud, and provide client applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others through the same. As a result, massive savings in server hardware can be achieved; maintenance and security is outsourced to Microsoft; employees can essentially work from anywhere with an internet connection, while the inclusion of collaboration technology – such as SharePoint (company intranet and content management tool, amongst other uses) and Lync (video conferencing and instant messaging) – allows colleagues to be connected face-to-face, all of which is included in the subscription price. It’s also quite an intuitive system – if you’re used to working with Office, then it’s very easy to pick up on Office 365. Mike Hughes is Business Group Lead at Microsoft’s Office division. “The main thing with Office 365 is Microsoft is putting a huge amount of investment into it. The product is constantly evolving – we’ve made approximately 100 updates in the last six months,” he explains. “Another

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Mike Hughes, Business Group Lead at Microsoft’s Office division

thing is our financially-backed service level agreement. We guarantee 99.99 per cent up time and we actually financially back that – if your business is disadvantaged by an outage, for example, Microsoft will financially compensate you.” Microsoft have also made efforts in making Office 365 as open as possible, supporting all the major browsers which can be accessed through devices from laptops to tablets. In April they released native Office apps for the iPad, and will continue to extend that service to other platforms.“We also have apps for iPhone, Android phones and, of course, Windows phones,” says Hughes. “We’re very keen to give people the ability to work from any platform directly.” Perhaps one of the major concerns for those

who aren’t entirely sure what cloud computing entails revolves around security. Hughes, however, points out that data stored at Microsoft data centres is actually more secure than on an office service, or a laptop hard drive, for example. “Security is our number one concern, and we ensure we have really strong policies that anyone can see,” he stresses. For those interested in taking the step forward, several options will face them, covering companies of all size. For those businesses with 0-25 employees, perhaps the best value package is Small Business Premium, which comes in at s10 per user per month, with access to all of the Office client applications, SharePoint, Lync and 1TB of OneDrive (online storage). “That’s for small businesses with no IT infrastructure, and is packaged to make it as simple as possible,” Hughes explains. “The next step up is Office 365 for Midsize Business, which gives you everything mentioned previously, but also more admin control, more telemetary on who is using what, and which applications are most commonly used. That caps out at 300 users.” For larger organisations, Hughes recommends Microsoft’s Enterprise solutions, which range from the E1 suite to E3. However, should you wish, you can also opt to licence services individually. “You could just have an Exchange online version so you don’t take any of the other applications, and just pay for Exchange online mail in the cloud. Or you can just take SharePoint or Lync online by themselves. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for businesses to have a menu of solutions which they can choose from,” Hughes concludes.


20/10/2014 17:58:40

iB Survey Friends First

Putting Your Pension First InBusiness caught up with Friends First Pensions & Investment Director Simon Hoffman, who outlined his views on the pension market today. Q: Have we seen any increase in the uptake of pensions in 2014?

A: We have seen a steady pick up in pensions business since around the middle of 2013. Pension funding is seen by many as a discretionary spend and it is understandable that when consumers’ finances were suffering over the last few years, their pension contributions were one of the first things to go. But we are now seeing a sustained recovery. In the first half of 2014 the market was up around 13 per cent. We have been particularly pleased with our own performance which is up 25.5 per cent over the same period.

Q: Which type of pensions are proving the most popular?

A: We have seen a strong recovery in individual pensions, particularly from business owners. Over the last few years pension savers have been quite risk averse. Back then there were plenty of high deposit rates around offering Government backed guarantees. Those days are now gone and interest rates are on the floor. As pension savers return to markets to seek any sort of return we


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are seeing them go for the new breed of target risk multi-asset funds rather than traditional Pension Managed Funds. Traditional Pension Managed funds are actually quite high risk, however, target risk funds are managed in a way to try and keep risk within certain parameters. This makes it easier for the investor to select a fund which is appropriate for his own particular appetite for risk. We are also seeing a growing demand for self directed pensions which give the customer a greater choice of investment options.

Q: What are the main pension solutions Friends First are currently offering?

Simon Hoffman, Friends First Pensions & Investment Director

A: We operate across the full spectrum – on the individual side of things we offer personal pensions, PRSAs and Executive Pensions, targeted at business owners, as well as the post retirement ARF

and annuity market. For corporates we offer complete pension solutions to small to medium sized companies. That is where we look after both the investment and administrative side of

their pension schemes. For larger pension schemes we offer more bespoke range of services which may be investment only, administration, actuarial services or a combination of

As pension savers return to markets to seek any sort of return we are seeing them go for the new breed of target risk multi-asset funds rather than traditional Pension Managed Funds.

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 14:21:07

iB Survey Friends First

the three. We distribute our offerings exclusively through Financial Brokers. Advice is a critical part of pension planning and as such we strongly advocate seeking independent professional advice.

Q: How are people being impacted by the winding up of company pension schemes?

A: We are mainly seeing schemes wind-up for one of two reasons. Firstly because the company itself is going into liquidation and secondly because the company has a Defined Benefit pension in place which the company can no longer afford to support. If an employer is closing down it obviously has far reaching impacts, beyond pensions, on employees. If a DB scheme is wound up it can also have a significant impact, but one which may not be as obvious. Usually a scheme is winding up because it has given its members a promise which it can no longer afford to keep. Lots of numbers get bandied about but in essence the member is usually getting a cash alternative to this promise which is worth a fraction of it. The broader impact of wind ups is really the need for a mindset shift. Up until recently a large portion of the labour force were relying on two institutions to fund for their retirement – their employer and the State. They probably didn’t give it much thought otherwise. Well we now know that neither employers nor the State InBusiness | Q3 2014

092 InBusiness Q3 2014_Friends First.indd 93

Individuals will increasingly need to take a greater interest in, and responsibility for, providing for themselves in their retirement. Unfortunately this is going to cost us more now, but the cost of not taking responsibility now could be even greater.

can be relied on to provide a high quality of life in retirement. Individuals will increasingly need to take a greater interest in, and responsibility for, providing for themselves in their retirement. Unfortunately this is going to cost us more now, but the cost of not taking responsibility now could be even greater.

Q: How are you addressing people’s concern given the volatility in the market in recent years?

A: Most people’s initial reaction to volatility was not surprisingly a knee jerk reaction to leave markets. This is an emotional response and unfortunately usually the wrong one. There are lots of documented research into the psychological drivers of investors and

there is a natural tendency to buy into markets after we have seen growth (ie. nearer to the top of the market) and leave them after we have seen a sharp fall (ie. nearer the bottom). Those who did move assets to safer investments during the financial crisis have not participated in the strong recovery over the last few years. The investment industry has responded to these behaviours by introducing target risk products. These are multi asset products managed in a way which tries to maintain a constant level of risk. This way it can be better matched with a customer’s attitude to risk. So customers with lower appetite for risk can select a fund managed with a low volatility target. These are proving very popular.

Q: Some have called for a Minister dedicated to pensions. What are your thoughts on this?

A: I would be an advocate of this. We do need Government supervision of areas which have a long term strategic importance for the country. The pensions ‘time-bomb’ has been much talked about by successive Ministers for Welfare or Social Protection, but it simply does not get the focus when it is part of such a large and contentious brief. Over the last couple of decades we have had four or five major ‘reports’ on the structural reform needed for pension provision, but very little actual change. A dedicated Minister might just give it the focus to get the ideas into actions. 93

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Cloud PBX Contact Centre CRM integration Smartphone app PC phone app Unified communications

Fibre network Gigabit connectivity MPLS solutions Global footprint Enhanced SLAs Managed services

Web hosting Email hosting Domain registration E-Commerce Application Vault Irish datacentre

visit or call +3531 681 1603

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17/10/2014 09:58:14

iB Survey Magnet Networks

Magnet: Taking

Irish Business to the Cloud

Mark Kellett, Chief Executive, explains the benefits of unified thinking and communications for Irish businesses.


ince 2004, Magnet has pioneered fibre connectivity to enable business harness the power of the cloud. Whether expanding a global operation, growing an existing one or even starting up, finding a technology partner that fits is critical. This can be made easier by choosing experts that not only provide business services to the cloud, but are the cloud. We’re here to connect you to the cloud in a robust and reliable way and deliver best in class enterprise services to your business large or small. We’re making it our mission to take Irish business to the cloud through a variety of our online services to get companies all across Ireland working smarter.

means a shift in the way a business thinks and operates, by discarding the generally out of date, bloated and costly on-site infrastructure they may currently have and taking advantage of the cloud, voice, broadband and hosting services that we offer.

Unified communications and business We help thousands of companies grow by connecting their business to the internet over our fibre broadband and offer them our innovative cloud phone solutions (Smartphone App, PC Phone App and PBX Contact Centre), website and data hosting, with company email on top of that. It makes any office operation mobile and flexible.

How is Magnet helping companies work smarter?

Exporting the Irish Cloud

Magnet is unique in providing local and international businesses located here with end to end connectivity and cloud services which leverage our global fibre infrastructure reach. With our capability our customers have expanded their operations across Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas. We’re enabling business to grow and work smarter by moving what they do now online to the cloud. This

From Magnet’s hub in Dublin we’ve also enabled some of the largest online events in the world, partnering with Riot Games, the NFL and X-Factor in Wembley, London.

What benefits are Irish businesses seeing? The cardinal benefit and reason many of our customers have chosen our cloud services is financial savings Helsinki Stockholm Tallinn Oslo Riga Portrush L/Derry



Copenhagen Southport Manchester



Hong Kong San Francisco Los Angeles San Diego

Las Vegas Phoenix

St Louis Dallas

Cincinnati Ashburn


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Geneva Madrid



Munich Zurich




Philadelphia Baltimore

To São Paulo



and added value to their business. Simply put, it costs them less to do a whole lot more with Magnet Voice, our office phone system in the cloud. Having your voice services and data hosted with Magnet also means ease of management and control online, mobility, scalability and business continuity in a disaster situation. It also means that our customers get the benefit of using the most advanced technology everyday as we continually innovate and automatically update our customers. We now help businesses all across Ireland run their entire office online in the cloud and it’s fantastic to see that some are even going a step further by eliminating paper and making everything they do cloud based and collaborative. We’re taking Irish business to the cloud, be part of it!

Washington D.C.

Miami To São Paulo

InBusiness | Q3 2014



Montreal Moncton Milwaukee Toronto Detroit Minneapolis Halifax Cleveland Albany White Plains Chicago Boston Stamford Kansas City Pittsburgh Denver New York Newark

Houston Singapore



Vancouver Seattle

Vilnius Berlin

Mark Kellett, Chief Executive, Magnet Networks

Email for more info and follow us on Twitter: @magnetnetworks


20/10/2014 18:06:08

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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • ULSTER Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Dublin Port to work collaboratively on Dublin Bay, Offaly opens a new innovation centre, and 50 new jobs to be created at the Kells Enterprise Centre.

Clare County Council proposing to zone more land along the Shannon Estuary, Waterford announces reintroduction of training programme for artists, and second it@cork Women in Tech event takes place in Cork.


Galway LEO rolls out courses for SMEs, Four Minute Business Survey launched in Mayo, and Green-Schools Travel programme asks families in Leitrim to rethink their commute to school.

LOOKING OUT FOR LOCAL BUSINESS CCMA Chairman Daniel McLoughlin on the role of the representative body in economic development

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New enterprise development programme announced in Donegal, applications open for for Cavan Golden Way community initiative, and Monaghan museum reaches milestone.

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n behalf of IPB Insurance, I am pleased to welcome you to the Local Government section of InBUSINESS. As Ireland’s only indigenous mutual insurer and wholly Irish owned insurance company, we are proud to serve and support our local authority members in their initiative to reach out, inform and engage with Irish business. Economic development continues to be central to the delivery of functions under the remit of local Government, and the sector is sharpening its role as a focal point for local development. Given the increased role and relationship between local Government and enterprise, this supplement will serve as a welcome additional platform to highlight the activity and developments in supporting entrepreneurship throughout the country. At IPB, we are fully committed to playing our part in helping to build a better Ireland and for this reason we are delighted to be official sponsors of Local Government InBUSINESS. I hope you find the information provided of benefit in running your business and delivering real long term benefits for our communities across Ireland.

Ronan Foley Chief Executive IPB Insurance


The relationship between PayPal and County Louth continues to grow and develop. Page 10

Microfinance Ireland is partnering with Local Enterprise Offices to meet the increasing demand for business funding. Michael Johnson, CEO, Microfinance Ireland tells InBUSINESS about the new initiative.

In Association with

Page 9

InBUSINESS | Q3 2014

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20/10/2014 18:23:05

PORT OF GALWAY Calafort na Gaillimhe

Inspiration from the past, Innovation in the present, a Legacy for the future.

Le Soleal at anchor, 2013

Galway Bay, “The World”, Mutton Island & the iconic Galway Hooker

At the Port of Galway we are embracing the challenges of today’s highly competitive marketplace with the proposed extension of our port. This will herald an exciting transformation in the way we do business and this change will be reflected in our facilities, operations, partnerships, processes, performance and our people. For our proposed redevelopment we are taking INSPIRATION from our proud past, adopting INNOVATION for our present circumstances in the expectation of creating a lasting LEGACY for generations to come.

T: 00353 91 561874/562329 F: 00353 91 563738 E: W: Port Extension Website:

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3/9/14 09:42:21

LOcal Government in Business News: Leinster County Dublin

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Upcoming Events Leinster

Dublin Bay Targets

Cruise Passengers Dun Laoghaire Harbour CEO Gerry Dunne says there is a great opportunity for Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Dublin Port to work collaboratively on Dublin Bay to emulate the success of Danish capital, Copenhagen in attracting approximately 500,000 cruise visitors per year, which would represent a quadrupling of visitor numbers coming to Dublin Bay in 2015. In 2011, the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group was formed to bring together various

stakeholders with an interest in developing cruise business for the greater Dun Laoghaire area. This stakeholder group includes Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and Dun Laoghaire Business Improvement District [BID]. The Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group engaged in a vigorous marketing campaign, particularly in the United States, to enable Dun Laoghaire to tap into this growing market.

22nd October - 2nd November Wexford Festival Opera, Wexford Town 24th October - 27th October Shackleton Autumn School Festival, Athy, Co Kildare 25th October - 31st October Lullymore Halloween Happenings, Rathangan, Co Kildare 27th October Airtricity Dublin Marathon, Dublin City 6th - 9th November Kilkenomics Economics Festival, Kilkenny City 8th November - 9th November Wild & Slow Festival, Aughrim, Co Wicklow

County Kilkenny

Contract Signed on Kilkenny Brewery Plan Kilkenny County Council and Diageo Ireland have announced the official signing of the contract for the former Smithwicks Brewery site in Kilkenny City, following an agreement in principle reached in 2012. The contract signing allows Kilkenny County Council to move forward with developing a masterplan for the Smithwicks site with proposals to include the provision of a Linear Park on the banks of the Nore, the conservation of historic buildings on the site, landscaped spaces (including a new public square) and sustainable and energy efficient strategies for individual buildings on the overall site.

County offaly

Offaly’s new innovation centre is open for business. An exciting new addition to the suite of business supports available in the county, this new venture is a multi-functional space, offering hot desk space and office space for rental and meeting room hire. It is designed to assist innovative people develop their business ideas and interact with other people doing the same. The Innovation Centre is supported by the Local Enterprise Office and other partners and these will provide ongoing training and mentoring support to people working in the Centre.



InBusiness | Q3 2014

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County MEATH


New Jobs for Kells Meath County Council has warmly welcomed the announcement that 50 new jobs are to be created at the Kells Enterprise Centre. US based SWG and MDS Global Technologies are to set up in the centre and create 25 jobs each over the next two years with support from the SmartStart accelerator programme.


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What’s On IN

County Cork


4th October - 11th October Kerry Film Festival 26th October Knocknagoshel Halloween Festival 7th November - 9th November Sneem International Folklore & Storytelling Festival 14th November - 16th November National Circus Festival of Ireland 21st November - 22nd November Christie Hennessy – A Celebration 28sth November - 30th November Kenmare Choral Festival

County CLare

Clare Explores New Development Opportunities Clare County Council is proposing to zone more than 345 hectares of land along the Shannon Estuary for the development of marine related industry. Two Strategic Development Locations (SDL) have been identified at Cahercon and Moneypoint where the council says existing pier facilities and deep estuarial water provide potential for maritime industry investment. Clare County Council is proposing to incorporate the zoned lands into the Clare County Development Plan 20112017 along with the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary.

Ruth Buckley, Cork City Council with Sinead McSweeney, Twitter.

Cork-born Twitter executive

addresses tech conference

The second it@cork Women in Tech lunchtime event took place on 10 September in the KBC bank boardroom at 4 Lapps Quay, Cork. Twitter Director of Public Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Sinead McSweeney, addressed the event organised by it@cork European Tech Cluster in association with Cork City Council. “Increasing the visibility of talented, experienced women in the ICT Sector in Ireland is a key objective of the it@cork Women in Tech event series,” said Ruth Buckley, Head of ICT and Business Services at Cork City Council. “Highlighting the success of our colleagues in roles in IT, Science and Engineering is vital to empower women in business and to ensure a pipeline of female graduates in STEM to meet the opportunity to create successful careers in these exciting sectors.” The Women in Tech event series was recently shortlisted by Chambers Ireland for an Excellence in Local Government Award.

County Waterford

Training Programme Links Business and Arts The Arts Office of Waterford City and County Council, in association with ArtLinks, is pleased to announce the reintroduction of its Training Programme for Artists. The programme is designed to meet the needs of artists living and working in the south east region. It will be delivered by industry experts and will comprise of programmes across the four partner counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford. Training which will be rolled out this season include:

• Taxation for Artists • Writing Successful Funding Applications/ Developing Funding Streams • Developing your Professional Network • Promoting your Artistic Practice Online • Strategic Planning for your Artistic Business

For further information go to


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InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 16:45:30

LOcal Government in Business News: Connaught

County Leitrim

Travel The Green Way

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What’s On IN Sligo

19th October Harvest Home for the North West An Taisce’s Green-Schools Travel programme is asking families in County Leitrim to rethink their commute to school this academic year. Following the summer holidays, when families had opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities together, Green-Schools Travel is encouraging parents to keep up those good habits by choosing to cycle or walk all, or part of, the way to school with their children from the onset of this new school term. Each year the programme works with primary and secondary schools in County Leitrim to encourage walking, cycling and scooting to school along with options such as Park ‘n’ Stride, carpooling and using public transport.

County Galway

Courses for SMEs at Galway LEO The Local Enterprise Office Galway has rolled out a brand new autumn schedule of training courses which are designed and priced with SMEs in mind. The courses are subsidised and are relevant for someone who is thinking of starting a business and not sure of the next steps to take and also the single operator who is self-employed. Workshops will include: costing, pricing, and cash flow for your business; Facebook for business (beginners and intermediate); beginners guide to social media; plan and develop a website; and PR, branding, and marketing for your business. For further details go to

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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22th October - 27th October Sligo Live 2014 7th November - 9th November Sligo International Choral Festival

County Mayo


Minute Business Survey Launched

An exciting project has been launched in the new Mayo Local Enterprise Office in Cedar House. The Four Minute Mayo Business Survey is giving every business owner/manager the opportunity to enter their business into a draw for a a3,000 local media voucher. The idea is simple. The Local Enterprise Office is asking as many business owners/ managers as possible to log on and fill out a quick survey. It only takes four minutes and is giving each and every business in the county the opportunity to express their view on the landscape of enterprise in the county, such as what problems are affecting your business? How can we help you? Are you growing your business in 2014? You can take the survey here: Mayoleosurvey2014


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County Donegal

A New Base in Donegal

Upcoming Events Ulster

23rd October - 26th October Clones Film Festival, Co Monaghan 24th October - 29th October Virginia Pumpkin Festival, Co Cavan

A new enterprise development programme called the BASE has been established to help businesses to start and grow through access to resources, information and support. As well as dedicated hot desk and start-up areas, offices and units of various sizes come equipped with modern training facilities, bright

inviting communal spaces, a range of meeting rooms and amenities on every floor. The project is funded by the International Fund for Ireland [IFI], Donegal County Council, Enterprise Ireland and by the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

6th November - 9th November Allingham Arts Festival, Co Donegal 6-9 November County Monaghan

Museum Reaches



Monaghan County Museum celebrated its 40th anniversary on September 27th with a street party which was open to all. The main event of the day of festivities was the launch of the museum’s new exhibition The Treasures of Monaghan by Minister of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys TD. For the first time the very best of the museum’s nationally acclaimed collection is being displayed together.

About the Museum: The Monaghan County Museum, in Monaghan Town, boasts a comprehensive collection of artefacts including medieval crannógs native to Monaghan and perhaps one of the most prominent finds of the region: the Cross of Clogher dated to the 14th century. A recipient of the Council of Europe Museum Prize, the museum encapsulates the archaeology of the local region and is also actively involved in many archaeological excavations in the local area.


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Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way with Digital Marketing Seamus Neely, Chief Executive Donegal County Council addressing the Connecting the Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Conference. 180 people attended this tourism conference on September 26th to hear from world-class experts on how digital marketing can help develop and grow sales in their business.

County Cavan

Applications Open for Golden Way Applications are now open for Cavan Golden Way, a rural community awards initiative run by Cavan County Council Heritage Office with the support of the Heritage Council. Golden Way seeks to encourage more local people to enhance and enjoy the built and natural heritage and hedgerows of local country walks, lanes and small tertiary roadways around the county.

Entries must be: •A  predominantly rural walk of between half a mile and 3.5 miles. •A  safe route for walkers. Non-road walks are eligible as long as there is a right of way or acknowledged public access. The walk should contain a good range of man-made and natural features. For further information visit InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 16:45:33

e g r a l & m u edi m , l l a m s n i Available ications l b u p l a t i g i Follow Us


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online d w on Issuu. ’s a i d e M Ashville w available to vie edia m e l l i v are no h s /a m www.iss

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Looking Out for

Local Business The CCMA acts as a representative voice for local authority chief executives and is playing an important role in economic development throughout the country.


hen it comes to engagement with business, local authorities are often associated with the burden of local taxes rather than with an agency acting as a central driver of economic activity. Despite this making up much of the conversation, the reality is that local Government plays a crucial role in the area of economic development through direct and indirect employment and by facilitating growth in its work with State agencies. One non-statutory body at the heart of this work is the County and City Management Association (CCMA), the representative voice of the local Government management network. Its members are chief executives of the county and city councils and the assistant chief executives of Dublin City Council. The group works to ensure that the influence of local authority chief executives is brought to bear on the development and implementation of relevant policy. With thirty years’ experience working in local Government, Daniel McLoughlin is tasked with chairing the organisation while also holding the position of County Manager for South Dublin County

Council. He says it is important that the 31 local authorities can deliver a coherent message and the CCMA offers the perfect platform for this. “The authorities all have a common agenda in terms of economic development, quality of life and getting better outcomes for society,” he says. “The emphasis might change from area to area but that’s something we recognise.” The role of local Government in enterprise has received extensive coverage recently with the introduction of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in April. These bodies have replaced the County Enterprise Boards (CEBs) but will continue much of their work in maintaining support for start-ups, micro-enterprises and other small businesses through direct financial assistance and a linking service with state resources. The move to introduce the LEO’s is part of the Government’s action plan for jobs, and the natural focus of bringing enterprise back to the centre of Government policies. McLoughlin says that the introduction of the LEOs is a important move which should not be viewed in isolation. The economic development role at local Government level is much broader. “It’s a small but important part of

McLoughlin says that the introduction of the LEOs is aN important move which should not be viewed in isolation. 6

LGIB_006 IB Q3 2014_CCMA.indd 6

the overall economic development brief that local authorities have,” he explains. “I think there’s a natural synergy there that needs to be understood. The CEBs were doing invaluable work in relation to enterprise support, mentoring and developing entrepreneurship. Side by side with that, local authorities have always been involved in enterprise supports such as incubation space provision, business advisory services and supporting infrastructural development. It’s not that these things have been mutually exclusive in the past. It’s just that there is a recognition that they are better housed together to allow businesses to go through one door rather than two.” With regards to the local Government’s continuing role in business, McLoughlin believes it is more important now than ever before and that by working closely with third parties such as Chambers Ireland, shared aspirations can influence policy. “I certainly think that our role is growing in strength,” he says. “There was a time when local Government was primarily preoccupied with the development of physical infrastructure. We have moved from that into a space where our primary focus is on improving the quality of life, business and employment opportunities for citizens. Economic development in the broadest sense is our core business. That’s what we do and it’s what we will continue to do.” For more information:

InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 16:41:27


Daniel McLoughlin, County Manager, South Dublin County Council and Chairperson, CCMA.

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Each LEO, embedded in a local authority, will develop a local plan for boosting enterprise, with targets including new business start-ups, business expansions and jobs created or sustained as well as wider economic impacts such as exports, mentoring, training and enterprise promotion. This represents a fundamental reform of local government so that services are delivered and decisions made closer to the people.


Support LEO GETS


System will combine new supports with business services currently delivered by CEBs and those delivered by Local Authorities, under overall framework set by Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Ireland.

InBusIness | Q3 2014

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Additional services including a new Young Entrepreneurship Fund, Microfinance Ireland, Credit Guarantee Scheme, and access to services from Revenue and Dept Social Protection.




New training programmes for all staff in customer support, and a new customer service charter which will include targets for levels of service delivery.


DEDICATED STAFF ACROSS THE LEOS SYSTEM, supplemented by a new Graduate Recruitment Programme to take place shortly and supported by a further 40 Local Authority staff.


20/10/2014 16:41:38

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For more information on how you can introduce a volunteering programme in your company contact Jack Clarke, Employee Volunteer Programme Co-ordinator at 01 6369446 or

What’s on your


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17/10/2014 18:16:38

LOcal Government in Business Microfinance Ireland

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Microfinance Ireland makes lending local Microfinance Ireland, who provide loans to micro-enterprises in Ireland, is partnering with Local Enterprise Offices to meet the increasing demand for business funding. Michael Johnson, CEO, Microfinance Ireland tells InBUSINESS about the new initiative.


icrofinance Ireland (MFI) was launched as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs in 2012 to provide loans from a2,000 up to a25,000 to micro-businesses, with less than ten employees and a turnover of less than a2 million per annum. The fund exists to finance businesses that have been declined credit by their bank and to support businesses and jobs in local communities. The network of Local Enterprise Offices is now teaming up with MFI, to launch a new type of loan support aimed at Ireland’s small business community. Benefiting from advice and support during the application stage, start-ups and small businesses can apply directly to any of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country for the new ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan package. The intention is to allow MFI process more loans to businesses, without increasing their own overheads and infrastructure, and to transfer the decision making to a local level. “We will be encouraging people to apply for our loans through the LEOs who will assist the loan application. They will make an assessment on the application for the loan and they will send their assessment to us for final decision,” says Michael Johnson, CEO, Microfinance Ireland. “From the client’s point of view, we believe it makes it much easier because they’ll be dealing with their own people at a local level and they get a one per cent reduced interest rate for going through the LEO.” It is expected that up to 250 new applications for MFI loan support will InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Adrienne Rodgers, Head of Local Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office, Cork City; Michael Johnson, Chief Executive, Microfinance Ireland; Veronica Kenneally, Veronica’s Crisps.

take place this year alone. Based on an average loan size of a15,500, the a3.8 million in lending is expected to support 500 jobs nationwide. Since the launch of MFI less than two years ago it has approved loans to 308 small businesses, provided a4.8 million in lending and supported 711 jobs. “We are in a demand-led business, so for every loan application we receive, there could be ten or more potential loan applicants out there, still finding it difficult to get finance for their business. For those new start-ups and small business owners who meet the criteria, our advice is to talk to your LEO and apply for the new loan support,” advises Johnson. MFI is developing other methods of funding for the micro-business community, including a crowdfunding initiative with the LEOs where people will be encouraged to invest in their community by becoming investors

in projects which will support local economic development and local jobs. “If you are a private investor looking at what options and opportunities are around, you’ll see a project that has been validated by the LEO and that we have already precommitted a certain level of funding. We feel that that’s a very attractive hanger for people to consider investing,” says Johnson. “We’re hoping to get that over the line by year end. “It’s part of our intention of having a portfolio of financial instruments that are suitable for different situations to different small enterprises. We want to put a message out there that we’re on the move, there’s energy and creativity going on, that the tide has changed, we’re open for business and we’re hungry to meet people’s needs.”


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PayPal Boost for Dundalk Louise Phelan, Vice President for Global Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa for PayPal tells InBusiness about the year so far for the online payments company and efforts to establish Dundalk as an important technology hub. Q: How has 2014 been so far for you and PayPal?

A: PayPal has been going from strength to strength. Globally, we have continued to grow at pace, with ten million of our 152 million active accounts added in the first six months of 2014 alone. At PayPal, we’re constantly innovating and adapting to the changing world we live in. We’re creating new technologies and apps that allow people to shop and pay anytime, anywhere and on a host of different devices. PayPal is at the heart of the most important innovations in money and commerce. We don’t just measure success financially, but on our ability to support our local communities. One of the key channels we use to work with local charities and community groups is through the eBay Inc. GIVE Foundation. Earlier this year, we announced that we are working closely with 17 Irish charities in 2014 providing valuable volunteering assistance, support and donations of more than a45,000 this year.

Q: Could you tell us about the 400 new jobs coming on stream in Dundalk?

A: The 400 new jobs are being created by PayPal at the eBay Inc. European


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Operations Centre in Dundalk. The new recruits will join the 2,150 other teammates who are already on board in our Dublin and Dundalk centres. By 2018, PayPal expects to have a workforce of 2,900 in Ireland. We are hiring talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience levels to fill the opportunities available in the areas of customer solutions, risk operations, merchant services, telesales and operational excellence.

Q: How important is PayPal’s working relationship with local bodies such as Dundalk Chamber and local authorities?

A: Dundalk is a fantastic place to live and to do business. This is in large part to the great work being carried out by the Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and various Louth authorities. Also our ongoing growth in Dundalk is being supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland. All of the local authorities are doing a great job of putting Dundalk and Louth on the map as an excellent place to do business and are really helping to establish the

Minister Brendan Howlin; Louise Phelan, PayPal; Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Barry O’Leary, IDA; Minister Richard Bruton.

town as an important technology hub.

Q: How can regional areas such as Dundalk continue to attract foreign direct investment?

A: The ongoing proactivity of authorities such as the IDA, chambers of commerce and local authorities will be fundamental in doing this. Organisations like these support and enable the developments which are necessary to attract and facilitate foreign direct investment. The American Chamber of Commerce also plays a vital role. We have been delighted with the exceptional standard of the workforce in Dundalk. At PayPal, we’re also fully committed to making a difference to people’s lives and to having a positive impact on the unemployment rate in Ireland. Half of the 130

people recently recruited at PayPal’s European Operations Centre in Dundalk in the last quarter of 2013 came straight off the Live Register. PayPal’s objective is to not just offer people a job, but to help them develop a lasting career.

Q: Finally, how do you find balancing your new role as President of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland with that of your position at PayPal?

A: It’s a great feeling knowing that the work I’m doing in both roles is helping to build on the already strong investment in Ireland by US multinational companies. It allows me to really focus on sustaining the positive momentum in the country in relation to investment and job creation.

People interested in a career with PayPal should apply at InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 16:51:23

LOcal Government in Business Louth County Council

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Building for the Future The relationship between PayPal and County Louth continues to grow and develop.


arlier this summer international e-commerce giant PayPal announced the addition of 400 jobs at PayPal Dundalk as their Louth Online Payments Hub continues to grow, building on the 1,000 jobs which have benefited the county since 2012. These jobs represent the hard work of members of Louth’s local authority and Economic Forum, who campaigned effectively in an attempt to attract the organisation to Louth. Michael Curran, former senior executive with Louth County Council, has been involved PayPal’s presence in Co Louth since the very beginning. “What we have done here in Louth County Council is brought all of the agencies working together. We have established what we have called the Louth Economic Forum, and developed an FDI action plan,” Curran explains. “From the local authority’s perspective I have been coordinating that over the last few years. Our role as local authority would have involved dealing with PayPal as regards planning issues, future rates, the search for a suitable building, access to the site and transportation issues, for example.” Curran remains proud of the role he has played both in marketing Louth as an attractive place for PayPal to relocate, and for the benefits which the company has brought to the county. “I’d be very proud to be associated with PayPal and Louise Phelan, and the way in which they conduct their business. 70 per cent of the people they’ve employed have come from long term unemployment. It’s great when you have companies like PayPal who are so open to this, and can see there are some great people out there,” he says. Curran also remains clear on Louth’s InBusiness | Q3 2014

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Michael Curran, Former Senior Executive, Louth County Council

potential as a site for investment. “The key to Louth being an attractive place in which to do business is that we have the business community, development agencies, the local authority and third level institutes working together to promote Louth. And that, through the Louth Economic Forum, has been a great success. Not only for FDI, but in developing indigenous industries in the county.” Clearly such development has already brought success, in the form of PayPal’s move to Dundalk, but the local authority and the Economic Forum are not resting on their laurels. Initially beginning with a European programme in Dundalk where they looked to establish a sustainable energy zone in partnership with the SEAI and partners in Austria (through funding from the EU Concerto programme), the joint task force began to move outwards with a plan for the greater

Minister Brendan Howlin; Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Louise Phelan, PayPal; Minister Richard Bruton Barry O’Leary, IDA.

Dundalk area; to try and develop it as a smart town. “It’s very important that we get organisations and the business community working together. And we have established a cluster of cross border companies in the renewable sector – 100 companies on the east coast from Belfast to Co. Meath,” Curran explains. “We’re spreading it out across the region, sharing our success with others to attract inward investment, or assisting their companies to be much more efficient and competitive in the marketplace.”


20/10/2014 16:53:30

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Data Helping Businesses Deliver The quality and accuracy of GeoDirectory’s database of commercial and residential buildings is proving valuable to companies across all sectors.


eoDirectory was jointly established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) to create and manage Ireland’s only complete database of commercial and residential buildings. The figures are recorded through a combination of the An Post network of 5,600 delivery staff and working with Osi. GeoDirectory has a database of 1.9 million buildings and 2.2 million addresses. The database 15179 Geo 999 ad_270Wx170Hmm_EDITED.pdf


is updated on an ongoing basis with quarterly releases of new data which is incorporated into the GeoDirectory dataset. The GeoDirectory database and services are used by the Central Statistics Office to achieve more accurate census results. Bord Gáis Networks has used GeoDirectory to identify and categorise new and potential customers and 11890 Directory Inquiries have used GeoDirectory to provide detailed directions and maps to their customers. In the property sector, GeoDirectory is used by and the Property Registration Authority. In addition, utility companies, banking and insurance providers, and all local authorities use the database. At the core of the GeoDirectory

business is the provision of quality data which can be trusted and relied upon. GeoDirectory drives the development based on customers’ requirements and the direction in which their markets are moving, which can be across a number of different markets all at the same time. As organisations increasingly see the value in understanding about their assets, their customers and their overall delivery of services, the importance of place and geography becomes more important. This is where the importance of quality and accuracy of GeoDirectory data becomes more apparent. Website: Phone: 01 7057005 Twitter: @GeoDirectory_ie Email:


WE HELP THE EMERGENCY SERVICES FIND PEOPLE FAST Now we can do it for your company too! GeoDirectory has given every building in the Republic of Ireland its own fingerprint: a unique, standardised address pinpointed to an exact location by the combined expertise of Ordnance Survey Ireland and An Post. Having this information at your fingertips could help you plan, analyse and evaluate far more easily – just like organisations such as the Revenue Commissioners, Department of Education, Communication Energy and Natural Resources and many others have already done.

To find out more, visit or telephone 01 705 7005

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20/10/2014 16:55:28

Louth - The Best County To Do Business Louth Economic Forum was established in 2009. The Forum comprises the business sector of County Louth, Local Authority Management and all of the State Agencies that interact with those generating economic activity in the county and is a one stop shop for potential investors. The Forum has devised an overall 10 Point Plan identifying 10 specific areas to be addressed with a task group established for each: • Foreign Direct Investment • Sustainable Energy • Indigenous Industry • Tourism & Heritage • Age-Friendly Business • Education & Training • Agriculture, Food & Fisheries • Making Louth the Best County to Do Business • Broadband • Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry Economic Corridor The award winning LEF has built partnerships and fostered a culture of joined-up thinking toproactively facilitate economic development and job creation in Louth Contact: Mary T Daly or Miriam Roe at: Tel: 042 9324122 or Email:

The Local Enterprise Office, Louth, established on 15/4/2014 is the primary agency dedicated to the development of micro-enterprise and business in Co Louth. If you are in business or even at the very early stage of thinking about setting up, you should call to arrange a friendly chat about how we can support you. The very least that we can offer to someone with a business idea is to point them in the right direction and advise them on what they need to progress their idea or take the next step in expansion. LEO Louth is about promoting entrepreneurship and self-help. The LEO Louth has the full support of Louth County Council and combines the experience and knowledge of the former Enterprise Boards and the Business Support Unit of the Council. Talk to us about how we can help your business Contact: John Lawrence, Joe English or Peggy McGlynn at Tel 042 9327099 Email:

Louth County Council Welcomes the additional 400 Jobs PayPal is creating in Dundalk – Co. Louth. 232428_Louth.indd 1

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17/10/2014 10:10:03

iB Survey CBRE

Commercial Activity Not Confined to the Capital Recovery in the commercial property sector is starting to filter down to secondary and provincial locations, writes Marie Hunt, Executive Director & Head of Research, CBRE Ireland.


eal flow in the Irish commercial property market has been phenomenal over recent months, with activity even continuing at pace during the summer months when the market is typically quiet. Indeed, there has never been a busier July and August in many sectors of the market than experienced in 2014 with transactions being completed right throughout the summer and several portfolios and assets launched for sale in this period as NAMA and various financial institutions continue to deleverage. Capital is emanating from a variety of sources and a range of different jurisdictions with investors encouraged by improving economic forecasts, recent upgrades from various rating agencies, strong rental growth prospects in the various occupier markets and the arbitrage between yields and prevailing bond rates. A very busy autumn selling season is now in prospect, fuelled to some extent by the anticipated ending of the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) waiver later this year. Much of the activity witnessed in the Irish commercial property market over the last 12-18 months has been primarily focused on prime locations in Dublin although there are now clear signs of an improvement in transactional activity starting to emerge in other locations. Domestic

Marie Hunt, Executive Director & Head of Research, CBRE Ireland

investors are typically more active in provincial locations although there have also been several overseas investors and private equity firms acquiring loan and asset portfolios throughout the country. Much of what will be offered for sale over the coming months is expected to comprise retail portfolios buoyed by the strength of demand witnessed for the Project Acorn shopping centre portfolio, which was sold to a US investor for more than €170 million during the summer. This portfolio included shopping centres in Cork and Carlow and proved that investor appetite is no longer firmly focused on

Poppyfield Retail Park, Clonmel - Project Parks Portfolio

InBusiness | Q3 2014

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opportunities in the capital. Another non-Dublin retail asset that traded recently was The Marshes shopping centre in Dundalk, which sold to Kennedy Wilson for €44.5 million. Another portfolio that is currently being marketed and attracting strong interest is the Project Parks portfolio of five retail parks, which is guiding in excess of €110 million. Another sector where transactional activity is not limited to Dublin is the hotel sector which has witnessed phenomenal transaction volumes in 2014 with the bulk of these transactions occurring outside of the capital. Recent examples include the sale of Kilashee House Hotel in Kildare for €13 million; the sale of Mount Wolesley Hotel in Carlow for €7.5 million; the off-market sale of the Aghadoe Heights in Killarney for well over €6 million; the sale of Breaffy House Hotel in Castlebar, Co. Mayo for approximately €3 million; the sale of Lawlor’s Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare for €2.3 million; the sale of the Brosna Lodge in Banagher, Co. Offaly for €250,000 and the sale of Park House Hotel in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford for €150,000. Meanwhile, contracts have recently been signed on the Creggan Court Hotel in Athlone, Co. Westmeath; the Heritage Hotel in Killenard, Co. Laois and the Rock Glen Hotel in Clifden, Co. Galway. As we go into the busy autumn selling season, we expect to see a notable increase in the volume of commercial property being released for sale and while the recovery that has been underway in this sector for the last two years is certainly not uniform across the country, it is encouraging that activity is no longer solely confined to the capital.


20/10/2014 14:22:48

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Dec 20th 08/10/2014 10:02 16:41 17/10/2014

iB Survey Galway Port

The West’s Port of Call Eamon Bradshaw, Chief Executive, Galway Harbour Company, tells InBusiness about the importance of an extension to the Port of Galway in competing for, and winning, new national and international business.

Q: Could you give me some background on the Galway Harbour Company and the group’s main objectives?

A: In the National Ports Policy published in 2013 by the then Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, the Port of Galway was designated as port of regional significance. The policy stated that the port is considered an important strategic regional hub for petroleum importation, storage and distribution. In order to cater for this, the port’s extension is essential. Due to the current restrictions of the port – it is a gated medieval port only open to shipping four hours per day and can only accommodate ships of up to 7,000 metric tonnes – it is clear that the port can no longer compete, on an even keel, with other commercial ports in Ireland. A planning application for a significant InBusiness | Q3 2014

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extension is currently with An Bord Pleanala with an oral hearing expected later this year. This new infrastructure will allow unhindered sea and shore access and is planned for completion in late 2018.

Q: What are the main economic benefits of the port, both locally and nationally?

A: The port services the entire West of Ireland region extending north to Sligo, east to Tullamore and south to Limerick. It is the first port of call for the import and export of bulk cargoes from that area. Cargoes carried include oil, bitumen, timber, limestone, steel, scrap metal, RDF and in more recent times, wind energy components from Germany. Trade is spread throughout Europe and beyond. Following the difficult economic times of recent years the

port has shown a major increase in business over the past two years and is continuing in that vein in 2014. The existing port of 75 acres includes the Galway Harbour Company Enterprise Park which employs some 530 people. During construction it is projected that over 200 workers will be employed while post-development will add in excess of 500 new jobs. The Porcupine Basin is at the centre of the emerging oil and gas industry off the west coast. The Port of Galway is at the epicentre of these developments. With a track record of servicing this industry dating back to the start of Irish petroleum exploration in the ’70s, the Port of Galway is well-placed to serve the oil and gas sector. In Galway we believe that the ocean is the next frontier and we are preparing the groundwork now to be in the starting blocks to harness our ocean wealth in a sustainable, economic and environmentally sound way.

Q: Could you tell me about the proposed redevelopment of Galway Port?

A: The port extension, over four stages, will consist of

24 hectares of reclaimed land, 660 metres of quay berth to minus 12 metres, berthing facilities for cargo vessels in excess of 30,000 tonnes, oil tankers, cruise liners and fishing vessels. On the marine leisure side, a marina will be built consisting of 216 amenity berths capable of hosting major ocean going yachts. The quays will be linked directly to the main Galway/ Dublin rail line. Following the difficult economic times of the late 2000s the Port of Galway has reinvented itself and now has a dynamic approach towards not only completing the port extension but as important in attracting new and diversified trade to the port. The result is not only increased traffic through the port but a major spinoff in increased employment levels. The belief of the board of the port, its management/staff and the people of Galway City and its environs is that the enhanced port will be a fulcrum of increased prosperity and a continuation of commercial trade through the port that has survived many trials and tribulations over the past 500 years. In essence the port extension is essential.


20/10/2014 14:44:34

iB Survey Eclipse Equestrian and Activity Centre

Total Eclipse Experience The result of years of hard work, Eclipse Equestrian and Activity Centre represents a dream come true for Cypriot Athos Tsiopani.


rom humble beginnings come great things. For Athos Tsiopani, this lesson is clearer than most. Originally from Cyprus, Athos lives his life by a creed, ‘to lead a life centred on excellence, integrity and communication, continuously learning and growing, and helping others fulfil their potential. Eighteen years ago Athos conceived of a place where families could enjoy experiential holidays and avail of adventure challenges. The journey which has seen this dream pass into fruition has been long and yet worthwhile. Cyprus and Ireland are quite different, not simply geographically, and re-locating a family and starting a business in a foreign land with a different culture and weather can be a formidable challenge. From a background in catering and leisure, Athos came into contact with many Irish holidaymakers who filled his head with stories, folklore and music, cementing his firm belief that Ireland represented his future. Following several faxes to agents across Ireland in search of 500 acres of good land with mountain views, a river, lake and not too far from the sea, only one reply was forthcoming. Heartened, Athos travelled to Kenmare (his wife Anita and three sons in tow) to meet Gerry Foley, who introduced him to his holding. Though the land was suitable for forestry only, Athos could visualise its potential. Although this was a time when most landowners were applying for government grants to drain their holdings, Athos quickly gained a reputation as the ‘mad Greek’, bucking the trend as he decided to


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“A little piece of heaven in Kerry.” CambellsLouth, Louth

excavate and flood his land to add a lake. With plenty of hard work enhancing the estate, the Eclipse Equestrian and Activity Centre became a reality. Perfectly positioned between the bustling tourist towns of Kenmare, Killarney and Sneem, and perched on the edge of Killarney National Park, the Eclipse Centre could well be described as existing in a parallel world. Today you can travel to these beautiful surroundings, perfect for company social events, Christmas parties or corporate team building events and enjoy an incredible range of activities: coasteering, canyoning, gorge walking, cliff jumping, swimming, climbing, team building exercises, health and fitness workshops,

outdoor adventure and much more. You’ll also have the option to spend the night: five houses can be found in the Eclipse Centre, with private rooms and bunk beds available to ensure you make the most of your time here. One might be forgiven for wondering why Athos chose the weather-challenged county of Kerry as the base for his dream, instead of the far sunnier climates of his native Cyprus. Looking out over the majestic McGillycuddy Reeks, however, Athos discovers his answer, with a vista that takes in a timeless, bucolic view replete with rivers, streams, mountains and pasture. “Where else do you get all this right on your doorstep?” InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 14:24:09


Personality Measurement in Business The Hogan Personality Inventories assist in identifying the right individuals for your business.


hen organisations need to hire new people, promote, transfer, train and develop staff and identify the next generation of leaders, managers, executives and CEOs, personality measurement is important. And this is where the Hogan Personality Inventories are crucial.

There are three: • The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) measures normal everyday personality – the levels of calmness, ambition, sociability, support for others, conscientiousness, innovation and openness to change that they

are likely to manifest in normal, everyday working environments at all levels of responsibility. • The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) measures the risk factors that emerge in unusual circumstances – for example, when people are under pressure, are too relaxed, are bored or excited or ‘irrationally exuberant’ – are they going to explode, panic, freeze, make rash decisions, break the rules, lie, cover up, become unpredictable, insult, harass, cause talented people to leave or worse? • The Motives, Values and Preferences Inventory (MVPI) measures the degree of fit between a person’s values and the rewards provided by an organisation and jobs within that organisation.

People are most productive when they are in a job and organisation in which they either get recognition for what they do, if they have power, if there is an attractive social element or they are helping others; if they are making lots of money or they can be creative or they feel secure – and so on. It is impossible to measure all of these attributes objectively at interviews; Hogan does. No other personality assessments come close to these Hogan inventories in terms of the scientific research on which they are built and their proven validity in the workplace in terms of selection, development, leadership identification and change management. They do what ‘it says on the tin’ – they accurately predict behaviour of all kinds in the workplace and thousands of organisations worldwide concur.

Select and Retain the Best Hogan Assessments Certification Workshops Camden Court Hotel November 6th & 7th and December 11th & 12th 2014 Certification to use the most scientific personality inventories to measure the Bright Side, Dark Side and Inside of Personality and choose the most appropriate reports for Selection; Development; Leadership and Change Management purposes. For details and registration go to ETC Consult – providing psychometric assessment services to business since 1983.

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20/10/2014 14:24:49

iB Survey Step Ex

Knowledge is Power InBusiness spoke to Hugh Robinson from StepEx to discover more about the importance of data infrastructure and the upcoming DataCentres Ireland conference and exhibition, 11 – 12 November, RDS, Dublin. com. This additional conference is supported by a dedicated showwithin-a-show exhibition within DataCentres Ireland allowing visitors to meet the companies that can assist them in migrating to the cloud.

Q: What is DataCentres Ireland, and what does it address?

A: DataCentres Ireland, now in its third year, continues to address the issues relating to the infrastructure and operation of data centres, server rooms and comms rooms to make them run more effectively and efficiently. Ireland – in terms of the international data centre market – punches above its weight being host to nine out of the top ten world leading IT companies, and having a number of significantly sized Carrier Neutral Co-location datacentres based in the country. However, DataCentres Ireland is not just aimed at these large institutions, but also has content and information that will benefit those who are challenged with managing small datacentres and server rooms. DataCentres Ireland addresses the infrastructure and management of that by looking at best practice. It combines a world class conference with international speakers. It allows attendees to listen to the issues, understand the latest approaches and learn from the experience of others, so they can improve their data centre operation, which will


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Q: To those considering

assist them in saving money and contributing to the bottom lines.

Q: Why should people attend?

A: This year’s conference programme features a number of interesting debates which will stimulate thought and give insights into future policy decisions which are likely to be adopted by the EU, and that may affect how companies in Ireland choose to run their datacentres. One such debate is a facilitated discussion on the sustainability and amount of energy used to operate datacentres and features speakers such as Tom Dowdall from Greenpeace as well as Colette Maloney, who heads up the unit within the EU charged with creating policy for adoption in relation to sustainability and energy. The DataCentres Ireland conference also

addresses practical issues such as efficiency, and at the exhibition you will find a range of suppliers showcasing the latest in products and services. The multi-stream conference programme features over 50 speakers covering a wide range of topics (which can be viewed at www. which allows the visitor to tailor the programme to their needs, whether you’re interested in energy, design, cloud computing, open stack platforms, etc. New for this year is a co-located show entitled ‘Cloud and IT Security Ireland’ which focuses on the needs of enterprise and medium-sized businesses who are looking at the issues relating to whether they would benefit from a cloud based IT solution, whether in part or in whole. The full conference programme can be viewed on www.Cloud-itsec.

attending, but may wonder if they will gain anything, what would you say?

A: Both of these events, DataCentres Ireland and Cloud & IT Security Ireland, are packed with information and ideas which can benefit Irish companies. They’re also free to attend, so I urge anyone involved in their organisation’s data storage or IT infrastructure to invest the time and benefit from the ideas, information and contacts which attending these events will deliver. Whether you come for one or two days, investing the time – and it is an investment of time – will result in improved business performance and reduced risk and will ultimately make you more competitive. For the latest information or to find out how your can get involved contact Paris Green, Event Manager, at InBusiness | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 14:25:47

IB Survey Ballsbridge Hotel

Investing in the Future Ballsbridge Hotel is looking forward as it completes an extensive programme of renovations, alongside a new, yet experienced team.

new restaurant offering. Changes at the hotel haven’t solely been in the realm of structural updates. The Dalata Group have also invested in a new team of departmental managers; an energetic team with a proven track record of success complemented by a focused business plan. Executive Head Chef Darina Brennan brings with her a wealth of experience from previous occupations at Fire Restaurant and Venue at the Mansion House plus the Luigi Malones Group. Stephanie Hughes, the hotel’s MICE Sales Manager, offers similar depth in background, having previously

Book your stay at the newly refurbished 4 Star Ballsbridge Hotel

‹400 tastefully redesigned

bedrooms ‹Conference space for 850 delegates ‹Banqueting facilities for 650 delegates ‹14 flexible and modern meeting rooms ‹Award winning Events Team

‹20 minute transfer from


ormerly known as the Jurys Ballsbridge Hotel, Ballsbridge Hotel has continued to move from strength to strength over the past months. Now part owned and managed by the Dalata Group, the last 18 months have seen the premises undergo significant renovations. Due to the volume of bookings at the hotel, this had to be undertaken while the hotel remained open. The cost to date of these works is d4.5 million, however to be successful any business must invest in its product. Improvements include bedroom refurbishment, state-of-theart meeting rooms, ballroom and a

Dublin Airport ‹A choice of dining facilities:

Raglans restaurant, Dubliner Lounge and Coffee Dock ‹Over 200 private, secure parking spaces ‹On site barbers and beauty salon

Treat yourself to a little bit of luxury at Ballsbridge Hotel Call 01 637 9300 or Email

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spent four years as Conference and Events Sales Manager at The Gibson Hotel. Stephanie also trained with the Jury’s Doyle Hotel Group. Meanwhile, John Conmee, winner of the Banqueting Manager of the Year award at the Event Industry Awards 2013, currently holds the position of Conference and Banqueting Manager. “Success doesn’t happen overnight, but I can already see huge growth in conference and banqueting bookings for 2015,” explains General Manager Des McCann. “We’ve made tremendous progress in the last 18 months,” adds Stephen McNally, Deputy Chief Executive of the Dalata Group. “Business has been fantastic; the increase in customer footfall is amazing. It’s all about delivery – if you deliver service and value your customers will keep coming back.”

At Select Events we pride ourselves on our ability to plan and coordinate excellent events with creativity and professionalism. From initial discussions right through to delivery, you’ll have an expert team ensuring your event runs smoothly and delivers the results that you are looking for. • Exhibitions • Conferences • Teambuilding

• Entertainment • Festivals and Sport • Gala Dinners and Awards

E: P: +353 85 8729 433 W:

08/10/2014 10:05

20/10/2014 17:27:33


Totally BALANCED Evanna Project Solutions aims to alleviate your concerns and work towards solutions driven by a tailored communications strategy, designed uniquely for you.


ased in Cork, Evanna Project Solutions advises a private client portfolio comprising individuals, professionals, businesses and corporates across a number of sectors in Ireland, UK and Europe. We focus on positive strategic thinking built around the delivery of a bespoke solution whereby we recognise and leverage the power of effective communication. Our approach encourages strong relationship management skills based on logical, rational and clear thinking unobscured by emotion and stress. We excel at listening, understanding

client concerns, identifying their needs and we take pride in always exceeding clients’ expectations. We believe that great business is driven by outstanding communications between people and organisations and our management experience in property, finance, leadership, negotiation and innovation allows us to deliver the tailored solutions clients require. In particular, the Evanna Debt Advisory team comprises a dedicated executive with a focus on positive strategic thinking built around professional management of client banking relationships.

their banks. John is a member of the Institute of Banking in Ireland. He has over 20 years of management experience and knowledge of banking practices in Ireland, holds a MBA and BSc from UCC and is a trained negotiator. Contact John at 087-2358444.



An Authorised Debt Advisor & Mediator, Gerry Owens is an experienced personal financial advisor with over 30 years’ experience. His range of financial advisory expertise includes debt advisory and personal insolvency restructuring solutions. Contact Gerry at 086-8333333.

As Head of Banking Advisory with Evanna, John helps to strategically engineer formal and informal debt resolution outcomes for clients with

For further details contact: Web: Mail:

Evanna Debt Advisers Do you need advice on Business and/or Personal Debt restructuring? It is essential that SME/Business Owner debt resolution outcomes are sustainable, equitable and reasonable. Strategically managing your SME & Personal Bank relationship towards a voluntary debt restructuring and resolution outcome, if possible, is important. Evanna Debt Advisers, have a recognised team who are leaders in the field of Business Debt, Personal Debt and how to prepare and implement a Strategy for managing your key relationships with Banks & Creditors. • Business Debt Resolution – Evanna will set out the stages of a Business / Corporate debt restructuring plan. • Personal Debt Resolution – Evanna will work through all the options for personal debt resolution, either an informal scheme of arrangement or a formal scheme of arrangement for the discharge of liabilities, up to and including Bankruptcy • Preparing a Strategy - Evanna will explain what a clear banking and creditor communications strategy is and how to strategically manage your SME & Personal Bank relationship towards a voluntary debt restructuring and resolution outcome. Evanna Debt Advisers, Control House, Shanbally, Ringaskiddy, Co Cork

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Gerry Owens, QFA, PIP, SCSI, AM – Authorised Debt Management Firm Head of Debt Advisory Mobile: 086 8333333 Email:

John O’Callaghan, DipHRM, BSc, MBA, QFA, LIB, PIP – Head of Banking Advisory Mobile: 087 2358444 Email:

20/10/2014 14:29:24

Business Advice Snap (Ireland)

Protect Against A Hack Attack Franco de Bonis, Director of Digital Marketing Services at Snap outlines a number of ways your company can protect itself from hackers.


reat, our new website is live...” Fast forward a few weeks and “oh no, our website has been hacked!” This is a much more common scenario than you might think. In fact, according to Google, a new hacked/ compromised website is detected somewhere in the world every ten seconds. Failing to protect your website from hackers is like having the website equivalent of a home with the front door open and signs in the street saying ‘Open Door Here’ and ‘Take What You Want’. Being hacked will not only cost you in terms of the cost of the clean up or replacement of your website, but also loss of earnings in future.

What should I do? There are a number of ways to protect yourself and it begins before you have even established your website.

1. Choose the right supplier It is simply a fact that ‘cheap’ web companies will cut corners and one of the main corners is security.

2. Don’t use free themes and templates Many compromised websites are compromised from the very beginning because the template used has built-in exploits – a clever trick by hackers. If you use a template design for your website make sure your web supplier buys it from a trusted source.

3. Use a High Quality Hosting Company Choose a reputable company in your country, it’s better for security and if the worst happens you’re not making phone calls during Bermuda time!

4. Backup, Backup, Backup If you don’t back up your website to a secondary source then you’re living on a knife-edge.

5. Maintenance Plan If you really want to be safe then have your web company provide you with a maintenance plan, this will ensure they keep the version of WordPress, theme files and any plugins up to date. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your site is less likely to be hacked and if it is, the restorative process is far easier and less costly.

A Unique Franchise Opportunity Offering Both Personal and Business Success! Motivation Weight Management is a trusted leader in the ever-increasing weight management sector in Ireland, with 30 clinics nationwide. At Motivation, we examine not only what people eat but why they eat and this is key to our success. Through private, individual consultations we help clients reach and maintain their weight loss goals.

What can we offer you as a franchisee? We take pride in providing exceptional support and training resources to help our franchisees nurture and grow their business. The opportunity to create personal wealth and achieve your goals through hard work and commitment. A business which will allow you to help improve the health and lifestyle of your community.

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Clinics Nationwide

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Performing its

ciVic Duty


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Price from €30,995 raNge STarTS aT €25,995



reland has never been a big market for estate cars, but there has always been a steady stream of buyers who like the space and versatility they offer. Crossovers and SUVs look like they should have big boots. In reality many don’t. For anyone who really needs additional bootspace, a wellengineered estate car is a genuine load lugger. The design of estates has moved on hugely in the last decade and most are now smart looking as well as practical. A case in point is the new estate version of the Honda Civic which is an interesting mix of space and style. It shares the same wheelbase as the Civic hatchback but has an additional 235mm of rear overhang and that has facilitated a serious amount of additional interior space. The Tourer looks sporty and drives with the familiar ease of a Honda while its tidy footprint belies the amount of carrying capacity. With all of the seats in use, the boot volume is still a substantial 624 litres and there is an additional 117 litres available in an under floor box. Flatten the back seats and the load space increases to a massive 1,668 litres making it one

of the most capacious estates on the Irish market across all segments. The loading sill is also low and the opening tall and broad so awkward items can be easily stowed. The Tourer on test was powered by Honda’s 1.6 i-DTEC diesel power unit which is a sweet and willing engine that pulls well from low speeds. It also comes with class-leading emissions of 99g/km which puts it in the €190 a year bracket for road tax. Features such as idle stop and eco assist help make the Tourer fuel thrify and Honda says it uses just 3.8 litres per 100km which is the equivalent of 74.3mpg. Honda hasn’t been in the estate market in Europe for some time, but with the arrival of a wagon version of the Toyota Auris, competition in the segment is hotting up. Others in the same niche include the Golf, Astra and Focus estates. Typical Civic estate drivers are families with young children upsizing from smaller cars and empty nesters moving from bigger cars into the compact segment. Prices for the Civic estate start at €25,695 and an automatic version is available. There are three trim levels, comfort, sport and executive which adds features such as leather upholstery, satellite navigation and

eNgiNe 1.6 i-DTec (DieSel) cO2 emiSSiONS (g/km) 99g/km cONSUmPTiON 3.8l/100km

an adaptive damper system that adjusts the rear suspension stiffness based on the driving conditions to improve stability and ride comfort. Standard equipment levels are high and include Bluetooth, climate control, 16” alloy wheels, a good audio system, USB connectivity and daytime running lights. The Civic Tourer is also the first model to be offered with Honda’s Dynamic Safety Pack. It uses a mix of cameras and radar to monitor activity around the car and incorporates features such as forward collision warning, cross traffic monitoring and blind spot information.

With all of the seats in use, the boot volume is still a substantial 624 litres.


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catcofhtheer eYe the



he Audi A7 is a head turner. Long, sleek and low slung with a coupe-inspired sweep at the rear, it is a niche model for those with a big car budget and a taste for something that stands out from the crowd. Of equal interest to someone shopping in this segment are the flagship Audi A8 or that tried and trusted senior executive carrier, the Audi A6. But for those who find the A8 a bit big and the A6 a bit conservative, the A7 sits neatly between the two and offers more eye catching curves and the sporty panache of a coupe body style. The A7 is very comfortable with plenty of space up front but rear legroom is tight and


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headroom also suffers due to the dipped roofline. The other downside of coupe styling is compromised rear visibility. However, the on-board camera is a big help in this respect. The A7 made its debut in 2010 and the latest generation has just gone on sale here at an entry price of €67,500. Among the tweaks are revised exterior and interior styling, new body colours, new taillights and an upgraded infotainment system. In addition, LED headlights are now standard across the range and complement the A7’s familiar LED daytime running lights. The A7 is a bit of a tech fest and the test car (€84,246) came with a front lights upgrade to Audi’s Matrix LED beam

The A7 is a bit of a tech fest and the test car came with a front lights upgrade to Audi’s Matrix LED beam headlights.

headlights. Matrix Beam headlights produce a light quality that is very similar to daylight and it is possible to drive with full beams on continually without dazzling oncoming drivers. The system “reads” the oncoming traffic and shuts off individual diodes to mask the light source that would normally blind the other driver. In addition to the familiar S and SE trims, there is now an SE Business trim which adds contoured leather seats with 22-way electric adjustment, ash wood inlay, 4-zone climate control, an integrated navigation system and distinctive V-shaped alloys. A new option is Audi connect which links the driver to the internet while Audi phone box connects the driver’s mobile to the car’s antenna for improved reception. The test car clocked in at €84,246 due to extras such as an advanced key with InBusIness | Q3 2014

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Price from €76,200 Range starts at: from €67,500 Engine 3.0TDi Quattro S-Tronic CO2 Emissions (g/km) 136g/km Consumption Combined cycle 5.2 l/100km

Motoring News: Sales Pick Up The signs of the pick-up in new car sales continued in August with sales up 32 per cent on the same month last year. New car sales for the first eight months are up 30 per cent on 2013. Those buying new cars this year have predominantly gone for a hatchback body style in silver with a diesel engine. Hatchbacks account for over 35 per cent of the sales here with saloons trailing behind at 26 per cent. Black and grey are the second and third most popular colours. Almost 75 per cent of all new cars sold here are diesels. Hybrids account for just over one per cent of the market and electric vehicles for just 0.22 per cent. VW is the top selling brand year to date with a 12.16 market share followed by Toyota with 10.65.

Top selling cars in Ireland (year to date) Model Sales Golf 4,176 Qashqai 3,593 Focus 3,565 Fiesta 2,917 Corolla 2,810

% share 4.68 4.02 3.99 3.27 3.15

Source: SIMI

Citroen Design Not Too Prickly sensor controlled kickpad for the boot (€1,149) and Valcona leather seats at €1,243. There was also a top-of-the-range climate control system at €1,061. The A7 comes with a choice of five power units and the test car came with a capable 3.0 litre TDI with 272 bhp, which produces a 0-60mph sprint time of 5.7 seconds. Also on board were quattro permanent fourwheel-drive and S-Tronic automatic transmission. Between new transmissions and engine revisions to improve emissions and fuel consumption, the A7 can now offer competitive running costs and the 3.0 litre TDi version in particular is a thrifty operator consuming as little as 4.7l/100km. The A7 is a big car but it is easy to manoeuvre and ticks all the boxes as a quiet, refined, and effortless motorway cruiser. InBusiness | Q3 2014

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The new Citroen C4 Cactus exemplifies the French carmaker’s unique twist on car design. Mark Lloyd heads the Cactus design team and InBUSINESS asked him some key questions about the newcomer. Why did you choose the name Cactus? Because cacti consume little. A cactus also protects itself in aggressive environments. What was the aim of the Cactus design? To revert to simpler forms. Cactus is about simplicity. What’s the thinking behind the airbumps? They have a protective function but they also give the car its graphic identity and make it immediately identifiable. What do you like about Cactus? It’s got an amazingly strong personality but it’s non-aggressive. Cactus is a super smooth pebble that has been in the river a long time. A little bit of quirkiness is a good thing for a true Citroen.

Kia’s Got Soul

In a world where fitting in often seems more important than standing out, the non-conventional shape of the Kia Soul is a breath of fresh air. Its distinctively tall silhouette has been retained for the recently arrived new generation model which is built on an all-new platform that offers improved ride comfort and better noise suppression. There have been a number of improvements to the cabin which is roomier with a more upmarket feel. Head, shoulder and leg room front and back have been increased and equipment levels stepped up. Bluetooth, cruise control, automatic air conditioning and a rear view camera all now come as standard. There is a choice of two versions; the EX or the Platinum and both have a 1.6 litre diesel engine on board. The EX costs €24,495 and the Platinum costs €28,495. Additional equipment on the Platinum includes 18” alloys, sat nav and leather upholstery with heated front seats. All Kia models have a seven-year manufacturer’s warranty.


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Lifestyle: gadgets

1080p HD video recording (30 fps or 60 fps)

Retina HD display

InBusiness takes a look at some of the most useful and eye catching gadgets on the market.

FaceTime video calling Fingerprint identity sensor built into the home button

Apple iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus Apple’s much anticipated 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus reached Irish shores in late September. Both smartphones come with 64-bit architecture and a new 8-megapixel iSight camera and are powered by Apple’s new iOS 8 mobile operating system. The new products come in gold, silver or space grey. Prices start at €699 for an iPhone 6 with a 4.7 inch display and 16GB of storage, stretching to €999 for an iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5 inch display and 128GB of storage. This might just mark the start of a mass migration from small screen iPhone 4S handsets to much bigger devices among Irish business people.


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New 8-megapixel iSight camera

Siri - Use your voice to send messages, set reminders

iPhone 6

iPhone 6+

Available from

Available from


Talk time: up to 14 hours on 3G


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Lifestyle: gadgets

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 With each generation of Surface products, Microsoft gets closer to building a device that can replace both your tablet and laptop. The company’s progress has been gradual, and despite a less than user-friendly keyboard, the Surface Pro 3 is a decent offering. Although it has a larger screen size, the Surface Pro is easier than ever to use as a tablet, thanks to a thinner, lighter design and more sensible aspect ratio. A good option if you want a tablet and laptop in equal measure. Available at Harvey Norman for €819

Luckies of London Smartphone Projector Portable Mini Cinema Smartphone Projector has been designed by Luckies of London to create intimate screenings any time, any place. Whether you want to set up visuals for a house party or simply watch music videos with your friends, Smartphone Projector is the answer. Go hands free, put your feet up and view at up to 8 x magnification. Not a bad purchase for 225. Available at designist

Beats Pill Portable Speaker Beats Pill has plenty going for it, including a slick design, decent audio sharing options, and the ability to charge an iPhone on the go. If its sound quality was better, it’d be a real contender for the top speaker in the category popularised by Jawbone’s original Jambox. For those simply looking to stream audio at close range, who aren’t concerned about bass performance, and are willing to spend a significant amount of money, it’s an acceptable option. Available for €199 at Harvey Norman

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Digital Digest Microsoft has announced the latest version of its Windows operating system, called Windows 10, at an event in San Francisco. The company says the new operating system will run on the “broadest types of devices ever”.

Intel said it will pay as much as $1.5 billion for a 20 per cent stake in two mobile chipmakers with ties to the Chinese government. The company hopes the deals will help it catch up in a smartphone chip industry dominated by rival Qualcomm.

BlackBerry’s unconventional squarescreened smartphone, the Passport, has earned mixed reviews at its launch as the company’s turnaround push moved into a critical phase. The company says its new device is ideal for professionals who need secure access and editing control of spreadsheets and documents.

Six months after being cleared by US antitrust authorities, the European Commission has now also approved social networking giant Facebook’s acquisition of messaging app WhatsApp for US$19m.


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Expedition to



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014 has been quite a year for Scotland; The Year of Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and of course the much anticipated vote on Scottish independence. In the final weeks leading up to the referendum Scotland became the focus of the world media and, irrespective of the outcome, it reminded us all of the country’s historical and cultural richness. The Scottish capital is a wonderful city for a weekend away and a delightful destination for a business trip. It’s easily reached from Ireland, small and accessible with

continuously improving public transport and an excellent choice of hotels. Pleasantly surprising, it’s now also a gastronomic capital in its own right, with plenty of fine dining and casual culinary options – once the working day is done there’s lots to entertain and distract. It’s quite easy to navigate Edinburgh. The city has an excellent bus service; Lothian Buses and First Edinburgh are the two main bus operators. After several years of development Edinburgh Trams finally launched this year connecting the airport, Edinburgh Park and Haymarket stations,

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The Balmoral The Balmoral at No 1 Princes Street is the capital’s most prestigious address and the perfect Edinburgh location for a business meeting. It offers awardwinning facilities, sophisticated surroundings and excellent service for a range of meeting and conference options.


The Dogs This appealingly quirky restaurant serves hearty food with a focus on good value. Making good use of the cheaper cuts of meat expect comforting dishes like slow cooked pork cheeks in cider or devilled ox liver, bacon and mushroom on toast.

SLEEP... Murrayfield Stadium, Princes Street shopping district and the city’s New Town. Black cabs are also an option for reaching meetings quickly and conveniently.

The Necessities The Balmoral is Edinburgh’s landmark five-star hotel mixing traditional Scottish hospitality, with modern style and conveniences, like a Michelin-starred restaurant, luxury spa and a Scotch bar that’s 400 whiskies strong. The trendy traveller will head for the G&V hotel, just off the Royal Mile. Formerly Hotel Missoni G&V still bears the emblematic, kaleidoscopic zig-zag interiors. There InBUSINESS | Q3 2014

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Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly direct from Dublin to Edinburgh several times a day. Aer Lingus also operate a direct route from Cork and Shannon.

Edinburgh Trams offer a frequent and reliable service from the airport to the city centre. Airlink 100 is a 24-hour express bus service which also runs from the airport to Waverley Bridge, city centre. Journey times are similar.

are also plenty of good and more affordable hotel options: The Apex group have four-star hotels in the city centre that serve the business community well. Jury’s Inn three-star hotel has a prime location, special packages for business guests and a variety of meeting room options. ‘Haggis, neeps and tatties’ is the quintessential Scottish dish. While you won’t have to go too far to sample it there is a lot more to modern Edinburgh menus: The rejuvenated waterfront area at Leith is the gourmet heartland of the city: Martin Wishart’s and The Kitchin in Leith

The Glasshouse Behind a 150-year-old church facade at the top of Leith Walk is Edinburgh’s boutique Glasshouse hotel. There are 66 luxury rooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows looking out over the city or on to the two-acre lavender-swathed roof garden.


Literary Pub Tour Edinburgh was the first UNESCO City of Literature, which is brought to life on the literary pub tour led by two actors. Edinburgh’s Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Irvine Welsh all make appearances along the tour around the Old and New Town.


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The Balmoral is Edinburgh’s landmark five-star hotel mixing traditional Scottish hospitality, with modern style & conveniences.


EDINBURGH AIRPORT The official Edinburgh Airport app puts the airport in your pocket, with live flight times, terminal information, news, special offers and more. Available:

‘Haggis, neeps and tatties’ is the quintessential Scottish dish.


The Ship on the Shore serves possibly Edinburgh’s best seafood.

EDINBURGH MAP & WALKS The app comes with a detailed map to assist navigating the city and locating various sights with Findme autotracking. Available:


both have Michelin-stars to their name and The Ship on the Shore serves possibly Edinburgh’s best seafood. Or, if you’re still hankering after the more renowned of Scottish fare visit the L’Alba D’Oro on Henderson Row. The family-run chippy, as it’s known locally, is widely regarded as the city’s best fish and chips.

Business Aside EDINBUS EdinBus gives bus arrival times, locates bus stops, shows route maps and location tracking for Lothian Buses. It also provides disruption information. Available:



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There’s rarely enough time for pleasure on a business trip, but in Edinburgh it’s hard to avoid the beauty and history as you travel around. In the centre, Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline from the peak of an extinct volcano, from there The Royal Mile leads down to Holyrood

Palace and the amazing views of Arthur’s Seat. It’s well worth a look: For walkers Arthur’s Seat is about a 30-minute ascent but can easily be accessed by car if short on time or the inclination to climb. The scenic Princes Street Gardens sit below the castle, dividing the Old and the New Town. The gardens are a hive of activity and the location for both the Scott Monument and The National Galleries of Scotland. Art enthusiasts could endeavour to visit the other three galleries which make up the National Galleries – the Dean Gallery and Gallery

of Modern Art in the West End, and the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street. There isn’t a bad time for a trip to Edinburgh. Winters are cold and the days are short but the city comes alive in December with Christmas markets and an ice rink in Princes Street Gardens. Edinburgh is also the place to be for Hogmanay, or New Year, when it hosts the biggest street party in the world. The Edinburgh Festivals transform the city throughout August – the population more than doubles, as does the cost of a hotel room – while it’s a fun time to visit on a pleasure trip it’s probably best avoided if you plan on doing serious business.

Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline from the peak of an extinct volcano.

InBUSINESS InBusiness | Q3 Q2 2014

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InBUSINESS looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge.


How Leaving the Euro Can Save Ireland


A Busy Woman’s Guide to Start-Up Success


y New Business is a recently published book by Wendy Kerr which reveals the secrets of how women can not only start the business of their dreams, but also successfully run it in conjunction with the way they want to live their lives. Kerr has spent a 20-year career launching and building new businesses around the world and her consultancy firm, Corporate Crossovers, provides women with the structure, tools, processes and one-to-one mentoring they need to successfully start their own business, and has already helped over 1,500 women live a lifestyle they love. Unlike many business books, My New Business brings business planning to life in an easy and approachable manner, using real life examples to illustrate the key learnings rather than focusing on dry facts and figures. Kerr interviewed 300 women who have started their own business and it revealed some fascinating statistics and insights. The book features handy downloadable tools, worksheets and thought-provoking exercises that will help readers on every step of their new business journey, from deciding if self-employment is really right for them, understanding market conditions, through to the important details of how the business will run day-to-day. It’s worth a read if you’re considering taking that leap into the uncertain world of starting your own business.

AUTHOR: Wendy Kerr PUBLISHER: Pearson RRP: 13.49 AVAILABLE:


AUTHOR: Doug Johnstone PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber AVAILABLE: All good bookshops

InBUSINESS | Q3 2014

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PUBLISHER: Gill & Macmillan AVAILABLE: All good bookshops

The debate around how Ireland could benefit from leaving the Euro hasn’t been as prevalent in recent months as it was at the height of recession. However, that doesn’t make the argument less convincing, certainly not when you take Cormac Lucey’s recommendations made in his book Plan B into account. In the book Lucey explains why the measures currently being taken to combat economic bust are doomed to failure and recommends Eurozone exit and restructuring Ireland’s debt mountains. The author says that Ireland should never have joined the Eurozone, citing it as the pivotal cause of Ireland’s economic bust. Described by economist David McWilliams as “possibly the most important book written on the Irish economy in years,” Lucey’s proposal is one worth exploring.

Get Sh*t Done! From Spare Room to Boardroom in 1,000 Days

The Dead Beat While on business in Edinburgh, why not tackle the latest book by Scottish native Doug Johnstone. The Dead Beat introduces us to Martha who, on her first day of her new job at Edinburgh’s The Standard, takes a call from a former employee who appears to commit suicide while on the phone. This sets in motion a frantic race around modern-day Edinburgh.

AUTHOR: Cormac Lucey

One way to get over failure is to set yourself up for it and share your goals and ambitions publicly.

AUTHOR: Niall Harbison PUBLISHER: Penguin Books AVAILABLE: www.

Niall Harbison’s new book Get Sh*t Done sat on top of the Irish bestseller list for a number of weeks following its release this summer. Harbison is the proprietor of food website Lovin’ Dublin and image library PicStash, both of which he founded after selling his PR firm Simply Zesty. In this book, he reveals a whole new approach to living which he claims will help you escape the tyranny of the nine-to-five. No wonder it’s in demand!


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travel meeting


Travelling for business leaves little time for style but choose wisely and achieving a fashionable look will prove effortless. Keep it relaxed with a loose collar and accessories with a watch that packs a punch. Invest in classic luggage and travel in style for years to come. Finish the look with a conservative shoe in your favoured style.





4. 9.



7. Regardless of the season, the plaid print is one of the most popular in men’s fashion. A plaid tie adds a touch of texture or a complementary colour to an otherwise plain suit. 1. Oversized check tie | €120 Alexander McQueen 2. Silk woven check tie | €130 Alexander McQueen 3. Silk woven check tie | €130 Alexander McQueen 4. Skinny check cotton tie | €65 The Design House


5. Collection cardigan, €64.50, Marks & Spencer | 6. Bronze lansen, €175, TRIWA Watches | 7. Huntor leather holdall bag, €365, Ted Baker | 8. Reiss buckle boot, €380, Arnotts | 9. Tom Ford Costa Azzurra, €170, Harvey Nichols | 10. Stenstroms light blue fitted body shirt with contrasting inlay, €139, Louis Copeland| 11. Townsman blue leather strap watch, €191.94, Fossil| 12. D Squared briefcase, €960, Harvey Nichols | 13. Coen Oxford Brogues, €142.18, H by Hudson



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24. 15.

19. 20.

25. 16.






InBUSINESS | Q3 2014

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14. GUCCI by GUCCI Premiére 75ml EDT, €104, Debenhams | 15. Givenchy black and white Bambi print scarf, €330, Harvey Nichols | 16. Surface Pro 3, €1,019, Microsoft | 17. Linea drop handle folio, €90, House of Fraser | 18. Nine West spotlight, €120, Brown Thomas | 19. Armani belted jersey dress, €580, Harvey Nichols | 20. YSL red rythum, €33, Arnotts | 21. Galaxy S5, €559, Samsung | 22. Alexander McQueen envelope clutch, €350, BT2 | 23. Vince camuto, €115, Arnotts


This month our travel section saw us land in Edinburgh. No trip to the Scottish capital could be made without incorporating their classic highland print into your travel wardrobe. 24. Tartan fitted blazer | €75 River Island

Travel light and invest in a statement dress that will take you from business to pleasure. For business, a mid-heel is a must, accessorise with a scarf and briefcase, creating a minimalist look. For pleasure, a swipe of red lipstick is sometimes all you need but a touch of leopard print adds a fun element to any outfit.

25. Signature tartan silk chiffon oblong | €120 Brooks Brothers 26. Vivienne Westwood McEdward bag | €532 Arnotts


20/10/2014 15:07:56


ong way Founder and CEO of Storyful Mark Little talks to Joseph O’Connor about the News Corp takeover, the start-up landscape in Ireland and the importance of mindfulness for entrepreneurs. lmost one year on from News Corp’s takeover of Storyful, founder and CEO of the Irish social news agency Mark Little divides his time evenly between the new office on Sixth Avenue, New York and the flagship one on Lower Mount Street, Dublin. I find him in a sprightly mood and apologetic that it has taken so long to compromise a suitable time to talk over the phone. In case you’re not familiar with Little’s story, in 2009 the then RTÉ journalist called time on a successful career working for the State broadcaster to embark on a new venture. Described as the first news agency of the social media age, Storyful discovers, verifies, acquires and distributes video and user-generated content to clients including BBC,


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Reuters and the New York Times for their editorial use. The idea for the company came about while Little was reporting on the Barack Obama presidential campaign in 2008 and later in 2009 while he was reporting in Iran. With the emergence of a whole new form of online media, Little identified an opportunity in the way news agencies source and verify stories. Like any start-up, establishing Storyful did not come without risk, but given his profile at RTÉ, if Little’s venture had failed, it would not have gone unnoticed. “That’s what one investor said to me,” recalls Little. “‘It’s one of the risks attached to giving you money; if you fail everyone is going to know about it.’” Surprisingly, given how much Little had achieved as a journalist, he says it wasn’t all that difficult to leave RTÉ. “Some of my colleagues

and contemporaries were quite suspicious and sceptical but I couldn’t have been more sure about what I was doing. During the following two or three years when I was building the company, we nearly went bust and I was risking all of my family’s financial security. So it was a difficult journey. In some ways looking back now, if I had known how difficult it would be, I’d have been more nervous than I was when I left.”

A Media Giant at its Corp It was December 2013 when Storyful was acquired by News Corp for €18 million. The US-based media firm, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, said it would use its scale to expand Storyful’s services globally, while also using the start-up’s tools across its own business. The sale price proved to be a massive return on investment for

its shareholders, who include Little himself, David Clinch, Ray Nolan, SOS Ventures, the AIB start-up accelerator fund, and Enterprise Ireland. Up until the takeover, Storyful had managed to position itself as the leading social news agency but it still required significant investment if it was to remain ahead of the curve. “We risked having gradual evolutionary growth which would allow competitors to come along and take us out,” says Little. “We knew that we needed extra resources and had some very exciting talks about acquisitions with other news organisations and social networks. In the end, however, we were very impressed by News Corp’s desire to create change. It felt like a natural home and over the past number of months the decision has been vindicated. I feel as though we are a start-up within a huge start-up that’s trying to reinvent itself and it’s a great place to be.” The News Corp takeover was an extremely exciting development in entrepreneurial circles and has in some ways acted as a blueprint for Irish start-ups seeking to expand globally. Now, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association, venture capitalists in Ireland are in the process of raising €750 million in new funds that can be leveraged up to €1.5 billion to invest in promising young tech companies, so it appears to be a good time for budding entrepreneurs here. Little agrees: “It’s an InBusiness | Q3 2014

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The Last Word

incredibly exciting time in the Irish start-up world,” he says. “The creativity of a whole new generation is starting to not just emerge but be recognised and there is a rising generation of young people who don’t fear failure, who are willing to take risks. The big problem is that people don’t necessarily have the support to scale businesses out of Ireland. It’s not necessarily to do with the Government or with a lack of money. I just think that we don’t have the infrastructure to help small companies grow in the way that Israel or Berlin can. That would be my only criticism but it is an exciting time if we grasp this nettle.” Little has another concern relating to the start-up scene here and that’s the obsession in some quarters with Dublin emulating Silicon Valley, home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations, as well as thousands of small start-up companies. Dublin’s old industrial canal docks has now been coined ‘Silicon Docks’ to reflect how the area is grooming the next generation of tech talent. “Let’s not try to be imitating Silicon Valley,” argues Little. “That’s one thing that drives me insane. Ireland will be the next Irish start-up scene. Silicon Valley is not a model to be imitated by anybody. I feel that the new model of a vibrant country is far more about the culture than it is about imitating Sand Hill Road or trying to get huge venture capitalists to come visit us.” InBusiness | Q3 2014

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A Mindful Business One of the major discussion points associated with entrepreneurship and start-ups in recent times has been ‘fear of failure’. Starting your own company is without doubt a stressful experience. Some are cut out for the toll that it takes on their personal life, while others find it all too overwhelming. Little has his own coping mechanisms, one of which he describes as ‘mindfulness’, something he prescribes to anyone starting out on their own. “One of the most important things for any entrepreneur is having a way of switching off your brain,” he advises. “I tend to go on Netflix and watch hours of old movies. I also love photography and reading fiction. But I’m also a big believer in the concept of mindfulness for all entrepreneurs where you stop and make sure that you’re enjoying the moment because it goes very quickly. What feels like a big challenge and a stressful situation one moment could actually be the best time of your life in another context. It’s really important to stop and smell the roses even if they don’t smell like roses initially.” Little was recently named as the Overall Net Visionary Winner at the Irish Internet Association Dot ie Net Visionary Awards, just one of the accolades he has received acknowledging his work as an entrepreneur. Nonetheless, he still

Mark Little, Founder and CEO of Storyful

describes himself as a journalist first and foremost, which made me wonder what he perceived his career highlight to be. A bit like his life between New York and Dublin, when I posed the question, he was forced to allocate an equal share to both. “It would be the day that we got acquired by News Corp which was Decemeber 20th last year,” he says. “That was a moment of profound satisfaction because the people who had taken a risk on me were suddenly seeing results and had their own trust validated. Having said that, I’m still a storyteller and I look back fondly at the work I did in Afghanistan. One of those stories in particular stands out for me. “I’ve been very lucky. I still have a good chunk of my career left but if I got run over by a bus tomorrow I would have no regrets and a lot of great memories.”


Life Lessons On being an entrepreneur... I have started to love the lifestyle of some of the people who I may have been sceptical about a couple of years back. On the initial role of social media in news... Like most journalists, I was scared by the concept but also quite excited by it. On the future of news and social media... What we’re seeing right now is the beginning of what I think is comparable to the industrial revolution and I think what will happen next will be a sort of a period of creative destruction where the first pillars of this social media age will be threatened, will crumble or will have to adapt. On NYC... Being in New York feels like you’re at the centre of things. Right now it’s replacing San Francisco Valley on the West Coast as the centre of media innovation.


20/10/2014 15:09:28

THE InBUSINESS INDEX In this issue, InBUSINESS explores data from the 2014 World Competitiveness Yearbook Ranking.





2nd USA

100 6th




5th Hong Kong


92.4 90.9 90.3 85.8 7th



8th Canada

9th UAE

10th Demark


85.7 85.4 84.8 84.0 83.2 1st








The US retains the number one spot in 2014, reflecting the resilience of its economy, better employment numbers, and its dominance in technology and infrastructure.

Singapore, like Switzerland and Hong Kong, is among the smaller economies which continue to perform well thanks to exports, business efficiency and innovation.

Ireland has moved up the IMD competiveness rankings over recent years, up from 24th in 2011 to 15th in 2014, but still fails to make the top ten.

Japan continues to climb in the rankings, helped by a weaker currency that has improved its competitiveness abroad.


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ABOUT THE IMD WORLD COMPETITIVENESS YEARBOOK The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook is reputed as being the worldwide reference point on the competitiveness of nations, ranking and analysing how an economy manages the totality of its resources and competencies to increase the prosperity of its population. It has been published since 1989 and compares the competitiveness of 60 nations on the basis of over 300 criteria. It is based on hard data statistics and a business executive opinion survey. Summing up this year’s results, Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center said: “The overall competitiveness story for 2014 is one of continued success in the US, partial recovery in Europe, and struggles for some large emerging markets.” For the full report findings go to: IMD.WebSite/wcc/WCYResults/1/ scoreboard_2014.pdf

InBUSINESS | Q3 2014

20/10/2014 15:11:33

The Sum of its Parts Simple solutions are built on complex perfection. Just like in business, what appears simple is often far more complicated and intricate than we imagined. That’s because complex perfection doesn’t just happen. It requires expertise, technological prowess and the experience of people who have seen it before. At eircom Business Solutions we understand this. That’s why our business customers, large and small, trust in us. They know we have more technological and network experience than anyone else.

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17/10/2014 10:03:06 17/09/2014 16:33

Ireland’s most loved van for over 60 years.

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*Typical Finance example: Caddy Van 1.6 TDI 75 BHP OTRP inc VAT ¤16,600. Deposit / Part Exchange ¤5,836. 36 monthly payments of ¤299. Total cost of credit ¤0. Typical APR 0%. Minimum deposit is 10%. Subject to lending criteria. This offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland is authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Models shown for illustration purposes. Caddy 2 year warranty, Transporter 3 year warranty, Crafter 4 year warranty. Offer applicable on orders placed before 20th December 2014. For full details on roadside assistance and for full terms and conditions visit

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17/10/2014 10:04:00

InBUSINESS Q3 2014  
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